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Good front page lead for tomorrow’s Sunday Star-Times

By Steven | December 12, 2009

The “high profile businesswoman” who featured in last week’s SST front-page lead because she received interim name suppression on charges of supplying drugs to her dying ex-husband, has now been named. From this report, it seems that her lawyers did not even see fit to contest it further, and the suppression just lapsed.

She’s Colleen Sylvia Hart, director of a swimwear company, and a former beauty queen. Might we be forgiven for wondering whether the latter fact might have had some bearing on the prominence attached to the story? Because it really didn’t tell us anything interesting about name suppression.

Suggested headline: Name suppression shock: laws not so bad after all.

This new development does seem to confirm an interesting comment by Fairfax’s Clive Lind at last week’s R v the Internet seminar: that when the media are writing name suppression stories, they sometimes sidle around the real reason the person is famous, instead describing him or her in other ways. They are trying not to be seen as evading the suppression. That’s canny, but I’m not sure it really worked in this case: she was identified as having an ex-husband who died of cancer earlier this year.

Topics: Name suppression | No Comments »


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