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Letters: Court livestream brings openness

A Richmond News reader takes issue with editor Eve Edmonds' column about the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial
Johnny Depp on playing real-life gangster James (Whitey) Bulger in 'Black Mass'

Dear Editor,

Re: “Court cases should not be live-streamed,” Opinion, June 2.

I am a loyal reader of the Richmond News. I read your opinion piece on how court cases should not be live-streamed. Respectfully, I whole-heartedly disagree with your sentiments.

The open court principle, in both Canada and in the United States, is at the crux of our legal systems. Openness and full publicity foster public confidence in the integrity of the court system and understanding of the administration of justice.

It is a shame Canada doesn’t live-stream trials. Accountability is fast becoming a thing of the past. Journalists should be the eyes and ears for the public. I read your article and I find myself... baffled and disappointed.

In the media, is there not a phrase: “if it bleeds, it leads”? Who is the media to critique those who “know that the more outrageous and hateful the post, the more clicks, shares and reshares, which, in turn, increases the value of their brand”? This is not meant to be an attack, only a commentary on the irony.

It’s wholly unfair to paint “influencers and content creators” with such a wide brush, in part, because there are lawyers who offered live legal commentary, at times, alongside psychologists. While certain individuals took the trial to inappropriate lengths, these should not be the takeaway.

My family and I watched the Depp/Heard trial, intently, over the past weeks to better understand the legal system and the case.

Yes, the vitriol against Ms. Heard is appalling and inexcusable. While I utterly disagree with their expression, the responses are understandable — not agreeable, but understandable.

Ms. Heard is someone who took it upon herself to become an ambassador of domestic violence. It’s indescribably insulting, for those who have suffered first hand from domestic violence. I would postulate your article adds fuel to the fire.

Neither Mr. Depp, nor social media, are to be blamed for the impact on “me too.” The blame lies squarely on Ms. Heard. It’s accountability for the lies and false claims she’s told. She alone set women back.

It was Mr. Depp who became the voice of those who have been abused. There was justice, based on the facts and evidence, against those who present false allegations.

Without live-streaming, the public’s opinion on the facts and outcome would have been misled (e.g., CNN).

My personal confidence, and that of my loved ones’, in the media is tumbling day by day. I hope journalists will look in the mirror and reflect on why journalism became their chosen career path.

Looking forward to reading your future articles.

Rose Wu