Yesterday was a significant day in the history of journalism as family courts in England and Wales opened their doors to journalists for the first time. They did not open the doors wide. In some cases they opened them only slightly and slammed them closed as if panicking at the prospect of openness. There is a long way to go before cases involving children taken into care, adoption, divorce, emergency protection orders etc. can be reported comprehensively.

Of course there are sensitivities. Children must be protected. But modest reform has now started a debate that may end in voters knowing 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. The Thunderer's columnist, Camilla Cavendish, helped to launch the campaign for reform when she wrote a column entitled "The secret state that steals our children."  For a typically economical summary of the reforms and their flaws, this piece in the Daily Mail is useful.        

A minor historic breakthrough - reporting family courts