Yesterday was a significant day in the history of journalism as familyÂ courts in England and WalesÂ opened their doors to journalists for the first time. They did not open the doors wide. In some cases they opened them onlyÂ slightly and slammedÂ them closed as if panicking at theÂ prospect of openness. There isÂ aÂ long way to go before cases involving children taken into care, adoption, divorce, emergency protection orders etc. can beÂ reportedÂ comprehensively.
Of course there are sensitivities.Â Children must be protected.Â But modest reform has nowÂ started a debate that mayÂ end inÂ votersÂ knowingÂ more than they presently know about what the state does in their name. As befits a modest victory for our beleaguered profession, yesterday's events have been well covered in this morning's newspapers and on websites. Every journalism student should be familiar with the arguments . I particularly recommend the coverage in the Times, Guardian and BBC.Â The Thunderer's columnist, Camilla Cavendish, helped to launch the campaign forÂ reform when she wrote a column entitled "The secret state that steals our children."Â Â For a typically economical summary of the reforms and their flaws, this pieceÂ in the Daily MailÂ is useful. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â