The Media committee will be co-chaired by journalist David James Smith and the former BBC Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw.

David is an award-winning investigative journalist for the Sunday Times and a former commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Danny was Home Affairs Correspondent for the BBC before joining Crest Advisory, which specialises in research, communications and strategy in the criminal justice sector, as a senior associate in 2020. He spent 31 years as a journalist at the BBC working on Today, the World At One, PM and File on 4.

Investigative journalism highlighting miscarriages of justice used to be a staple of the media – for example, the BBC’s Rough Justice, ITV’s World in Action and Channel Four’s Trial & Error in the 1980s and 1990s; however interest has waned and there has been a well-documented decline in coverage. A criminal justice system that values open justice needs an engaged and active media.

Moreover there are concerns with a series of ‘open justice’ issues that act as impediments to journalists investigating alleged wrongful convictions including, for example, being unable to interview prisoners claiming to be innocent or problems accessing court transcripts, evidence and post-conviction disclosure. The issue of transparency in the criminal justice system is of vital importance but hardly exists in reality.