These lines have no other purpose than the not so unusual abusive, aggressive and biased media treatments that coexist between the so-called parallel trials, that is: the information show.
Undoubtedly, the publicity of judicial proceedings (art. 121.1 C.E), in addition to being an imperative of our constitutional discipline, is a counterweight to the arbitrariness of public powers, prevents opacity in the exercise of jurisdiction and facilitates criticism of the work of the judges, which enables the necessary self-critical reflection.
Today we cannot ignore that the battle of the media for the audiences, when they are seasoned with a lack of scruples, turns those, to a greater or lesser extent, into creators of junk journalism.
Already in 1842, Karl Marx published in the “Renan Gazette” that the first freedom of the press consists in not being a company. It is a premonitory statement if we consider the imposing business dimensions that the media have at this time, or rather, the news companies and the way in which they influence the formation of a free opinion.
In addition, these companies make up another form of power – the so-called fourth power – which are endowed with a certainly ambiguous statute that contributes to forming an opinion, and in the words of Mr. PERFECTO ANDRÉS IBAÑEZ (Judge Chamber II, Supreme Court), “its macroeconomic dimensions, his enormous projection capacity and his great incisiveness run without effective counterweights, with all that this implies, politically and constitutionally ”. It is necessary, constitutionally speaking, some type of effective control, just as the media control the jurisdictional function and the functions of the public powers.
Given that the journalistic company exercises, nothing more and less than the role of intermediation between the newsworthy event and the citizens who receive the news, according to what ethical elements – professionals influence the cooking of the information, we will be, or not, before junk information or show information, depending on the company measure the informative professionalism, or the income statement. Today it is a true and verifiable fact to affirm the greater involvement of news companies in political and economic interests – with behaviors close to lobbies – with neglect of their oversight status of public powers.
In this context, it is coherent that parallel trials appear, understanding by such those that develop an abusive influence on a criminal procedure and very especially those that fall under the jurisdiction of popular juries, in fact, the most attractive socially and in the media, given their powers (homicides and murders, among others).
The fact that the legal proceedings are public does not mean that this is a blank check for news companies. The functions of the administration of justice and those of the press are different. Among those of the press is not to induce public opinion in a specific direction that prevents contributing to the formation of a free opinion. Among those of the judicial bodies is the protection of the rights that the Constitution allocates to the protection of due process, avoiding the abusive influence of the press. This cannot perform a supplanting function of the courts, giving an opinion on the guilt or innocence of those subjected to judicial investigation.
That is why the aforementioned Magistrate believes that the fourth power lacks an ideal statute to carry out the counterweights of its informative activity.