My friend and fellow-scribbler points Marcel Berlins gently points out in today’s Guardian that “most of the media’s coverage of the Ministry of Justice’s report Are Juries Fair? concentrated not on its main findings, but on a subsidiary point not central to the main issue and – contrary to the impression which many newspaper readers and radio listeners may have gained – not particularly worrying”.
Could this have anything to do with the fact that the Ministry of Justice gave the report to one newspaper (not The Guardian) and one broadcasting organisation (have a guess) before releasing it to the media generally a day later?
When I asked the ministry why I had not received a press release ahead of publication in the normal way, a spokesman told me:
There was no press notice yesterday.
When I told the spokesman that I had read the ministry’s press release the night before, the spokesman admitted that there had, indeed, been a press notice. He said:
There was no wide-scale release of the press notice.
I cannot object if you choose to brief selected outlets. But I do expect to receive truthful replies from the Ministry of Justice.
There was no further response.