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EDITORIAL: Media, social media and the justice system – The Guardian

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Here’s an explanation that might not satisfy everyone.

But give it a try.

WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian was doing a live report on a road race in Savannah, Georgia on Dec. 7, when a passing runner, later identified as Thomas Callaway, a Boy Scout leader and church youth volunteer, appeared to reach out and smack her on the butt.

To be clear, the behaviour is in no way acceptable: just because you’re doing your job in a public place doesn’t mean there’s an open season on unwanted physical contact or even shouted obscenities.

As Bozarjian’s employers were quick to point out: “The conduct displayed toward Alex Bozarjian during her live coverage of Saturday’s Savannah Bridge Run was reprehensible and completely unacceptable … No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV’s highest priority.”

The sooner people in the public — particularly star-struck oafish males who have a lot of growing up to do — recognize that and modify their behaviour, the better for us all.

There are a host of different headlines about the case: “Runner who allegedly smacked TV reporter’s backside charged with sexual battery”, “Runner who allegedly sexually assaulted reporter has been arrested”, “Man accused of slapping reporter’s backside on air charged with sexual battery”.

And that’s where things get interesting.

Social media, where video of the situation took off internationally, has since had some interesting questions not only about Callaway’s behaviour, but about the way the news media reported the event.

Here’s a sample that explains the new issue succinctly: “Just wish they’d stop putting ‘accused’ and ‘alleged’ before his name WE HAVE IT ON VIDEO.”

So, why “alleged”? Why “accused”?

The reason is both simple and complicated; criminal charges are involved.

And that changes everything,

The western justice system is based on the presumption of innocence.

Accurately reporting on cases in that justice system involves recognizing that people accused of crimes are innocent until those crimes are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

It sounds like splitting hairs, but it’s both arcane and necessary.

The facts are, in many ways, not in a great amount of dispute: the television reporter says she was slapped on the backside, the video shows that happening, and the man involved admits his did something he shouldn’t have done (although he maintains he touched her lower back).

But, right now, the media can’t actually report that Callaway committed a sexual assault, because it wouldn’t be accurate.

You can argue that there’s a pretty good chance that, given the available evidence so far, there’s a pretty good likelihood Callaway will plead guilty or be convicted.

But his conviction is not our job.

Sure, it’s frustrating.

But the media is not a substitute for the justice system, nor should it be.

And neither, by the way, is social media.

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Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface – CityNews Toronto

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  1. Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface  CityNews Toronto
  2. Newly appointed Toronto councillor resigns after controversial social media posts resurfaced  CTV News Toronto
  3. Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council  blogTO
  4. Toronto’s newest councillor resigns hours after she was appointed  Global News
  5. View Full coverage on Google News



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Media Advisory: Ministers Stoodley and Davis to Attend Run for Women in Support of Stella's Circle – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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On Sunday, June 26 the Honourable Sarah Stoodley, Minister of Digital Government and Service NL and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, will attend the LOVE YOU’ by Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women, in support of women’s mental health programs at Stella’s Circle.

The event is set to begin at 8:45 a.m. at Quidi Vidi Lake, 115 The Boulevard, St. John’s.

The Run for Women is held in 18 cities throughout Canada and focuses on Women’s Mental Health. Funds raised go to this year’s charity partner, Stella’s Circle, to specifically support programming at Naomi House and the Just Us Women’s Centre. The event also promotes physical movement as a means to creating better positive mental health outcomes.

-30-

Media contacts
Krista Dalton
Digital Government and Service NL
709-729-4748, 685-6492
kristadalton@gov.nl.ca

Lynn Robinson
Environment and Climate Change
709-729-5449, 691-9466
lynnrobinson@gov.nl.ca

2022 06 24
1:40 pm

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Newly appointed Toronto councillor resigns after controversial social media posts resurfaced – CTV News Toronto

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A newly installed Toronto councillor has resigned after her old social media posts, which appear to show homophobic content, were unearthed hours following her appointment.

Rosemarie Bryan was appointed by city council as the new councillor for Ward 1 – Etobicoke North during a special meeting on Friday, filling the vacancy left by Michael Ford, who ran in June’s provincial election and won.

After she was appointed, however, Bryan’s alleged past social media activities, which appears to show her sharing anti-LGBTQ content, were brought to light.

Friday was the start of the Pride Toronto’s Festival Weekend, which features the return of the Pride Parade to downtown streets on Sunday following a two-year hiatus.

Several councillors posted to social media that had they known about Bryan’s posts, they would not have voted for her to fill the seat.

“A majority of councillors would have never this (way) had this information been brought forward. We relied too heavily on the recommendation being made by former councillor,” Coun. Mike Layton tweeted.

“We need to reopen this debate.”

Of the 23 councillors who cast their ballots, 21 voted for Bryan, including Mayor John Tory.

Coun. Josh Matlow, one of the two councillors who did not vote for Bryan, called for her resignation, tweeting that he does not believe “anyone who supports hate and bigotry should be a Toronto city councillor, or hold any public office for that matter. This is disgraceful.”

On Friday night, Bryan released a statement announcing that she is resigning, saying it’s the best way to continue serving those who love and support her in Etobicoke North.

Bryan said she is devastated that her past online posts are being “thrown against my decades of commitment to the community.”

“I recognize councillors were not aware of those posts before today’s discussion and now that they are, I recognize many would not have cast their vote for me. I don’t want to hurt all those who supported me and I remain committed to helping my community in any and every way I can,” she said.

In a statement, Tory said while Bryan made a “strong case” to council for her appointment, her past social media posts are “not acceptable.”

“I totally disagree with any homophobic or transphobic views. I absolutely support our 2SLGBTQ+ residents. City Councillors are expected to set an example when it comes to consistency with our shared values,” Tory said.

“I would not have voted for this appointment had I been aware of these posts and I know that is the sentiment of the vast majority of council who also voted today.”

He said it was appropriate for Bryan to resign.

“The upset this has caused everyone involved is extremely unfortunate. This is especially unfortunate on the very weekend when we are celebrating the progress we have made together,” Tory said, adding that he has asked staff to review the overall appointment process.

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