THE BLOG
29/11/2013 09:36 GMT | Updated 08/04/2014 05:59 BST

Peaches Geldof - And How To Tweet Yourself All The Way Into Jail

These days, it seems that pretty much anyone can become "a journalist".

If you're related to someone famous - like Peaches Geldof, daughter of Sir Bob - then you can start blogging and tweeting on all the latest stories of the day. You will very quickly have gotten yourself quite a large audience.

It helps, of course, if you're good-looking and feisty.

Useful combination to have.

But every so often, these self-styled journalists come a cropper, of which Peaches, 24, is just the latest after tweeting to her 161,000 followers the names of two women involved in a paedophile court case.

The women had allegedly allowed their two children to be abused by the paedophile rock star Ian Watkins, but had been given anonymity by the court to protect the identities of the children.

Still - that wasn't going to stop 24-year-old Peaches. She was outraged that the two mothers couldn't be identified. She first took the British press to task for not naming the women, and then when nothing happened, she just went off and tweeted the women's identities.

Court Orders? Court Schmorders!

A day earlier, Peaches had been chewing the British press out for their intrusive reporting of Nigella Lawson's alleged drug-taking - seemingly unaware that it had all come out in open court. What that means, as I tell all my student journalists, is that it's open to the public. Reporters can report what happened. (Except if there's a court order. Then you can't. It's a minefield, I'm telling you.)

Peaches is like one of those idiot blow-hards who props themselves up at the bar and who chunters on about anything in the news that happens to have outraged them.

You can almost imagine Peaches harrumphing to her friends about the paedophile Watkins story, and how the two mothers HAVE to be identified. The public has a right to know!

This, perhaps, is how the conversation might have sounded: "Those two women who allowed their babies to be abused by Watkins. Why aren't they being identified by the Press? It's an outrage! Well you know what - if the papers are two bloody lily-livered to identify these women, then I will! That'll show 'em!"

Peaches has, like the bar-room braggarts of Britain, the most strident of opinions combined - lethally - with all the intelligence of a gnat.

Did Peaches really think the British press wasn't naming the two women because it wasn't in the public interest? Maybe she didn't bother to read the boring fine-print in all the court reports which said that "the mothers cannot be identified for legal reasons."

Maybe she didn't even give it a thought.

Maybe she just thought Screw the Courts. And as for Contempt of Court: what the hell's that when it's at home?

Sally Bercow is another Twitterer who became a celebrity on the back of a famous relative - in Sally's case, it was her husband, the House of Commons' Speaker, John Bercow.

With her punchy acerbic style, she quickly garnered a huge following on Twitter. She really knew how to shoot her mouth off.

Sally would share with her Twitter followers all the latest political titbits that she'd picked up at Westminster. It was a tweet about the Conservative peer Lord McAlpine that finally did for her, and next thing she was being hauled up in court for libel. Ho-hum.

I don't really have much of a beef with people like Peaches calling themselves journalists. It is the way of the world to piggy-back into a career on the back of famous relatives.

And we're certainly all for feisty, hard-hitting columns and blogs and tweets. It can be very refreshing. Journalists who've been at the pit-face for too long can sometimes lose their spark. They've seen so much that nothing can outrage them any more.

But here's a tip: commenting on court cases is risky. It needs care. Particularly if the court case is still ongoing.

As I say - it's a minefield out there. So if Peaches - or anyone else for that matter - is in two minds whether to Tweet something from a court case, then I'd be more than happy to give it the thumbs up or thumbs down. Free of charge.

Or you could just ask a cub reporter. Anyone who's worked on a paper for even just a few weeks should be able to set you right.