IT’S been a strange old week in journalism, with Oscar and the Oscars dominating the headlines.
Both stories centre around shoots, but there’s no doubt that the Pistorious case is already the biggest news story of the year.
In UK journalism, orders from the courtroom leave reporters severely restricted on what they can write.
Some victims of crime cannot be named for legal reasons, others have anonymity orders slapped on them which prevent us from telling the full story, certain things are said in hearings which we cannot repeat in case members of the jury read it and even when we do manage to cobble an article together, we’re more than aware that the legal eagles are going through it with a fine tooth comb to see if anyone can sue us for a few quid.
But for anyone with a notebook and pen in South Africa, it’s a different story.
If the mass coverage of the Pistorious case is anything to go by, it appears they can write what they want.
We’ve had live tears from the courtroom, we’ve had every Tom, Dick and Nelson telling us that he’s guilty (or not) and we’ve even had the South African version of Loyd Grossman giving us a Through the Keyhole-style tour of Oscar’s luxury home to show us where the bullets went.
Goodness knows what it will be like when it finally gets to trial, but I bet the Hollywood bigwigs are keeping a close eye on things with a view to cashing in on it at the box office somewhere down the line.
Which brings me back to the Oscars.
And what a waste of time that is.
Every year, the same old faces get dragged up the red carpet, a lorry-load of trophies are handed out to a load of luvvies who are full of themselves and the night wraps up with Shirley Bassey blasting out a couple of tunes from the James Bond films before everyone slopes off to some five-star gaff for champagne and canapes.
Some award ceremonies live long in the memory – I remember Gazza picking up Sports Personality of the Year and the Brits have provided some memorable hand-overs down the years.
But as for the Oscars, I couldn’t tell you who won what last week, never mind regaling you with tales of the Best Supporting Actress in 1997, or the Best Costume Designer in 2002.
But I did notice Daniel Day-Lewis picked up some award and I remember he was the gadgy who starred in My Left Foot all those years ago.
Which brings me back to Oscar Pistorious.
And if I had any more space in this column I’d love to be able to say what I really think happened – but those legal eagles are watching.