Privacy cases suggest that there are four important
aspects of this right: (1) the interest in seclusion, (2) the interest
in self-respect and dignity, (3) the interest in sentimental attachments and associations and (4) the interest in privacy of a
name, likeness and life history

Journalists should be aware that the right of privacy
includes freedom from publicity even though such publicity is true
and no action would lie for defamation. Publicity which violates
the bounds of ordinary decency, such as publication of the picture
of a person’s deformed child,.~r the details of a person’s
humiliating illness or the fact .that he does not pay his debts, may
create a cause of action for. invasion of privacy. Other cases
traditionally included under this tort are those which put the
plaintiff in a false but not necessarily defamatory position in the
public eye, such as by using his name or picture in an article in
which he has no reasonable connection or using his photograph to
promote or sella product without his permission

Invasion of privacy cases are subject to the right to
publish news of legitimate public interest; therefore, one who
intentionally puts himself before the public, such as an actor,
inventor or public officer, does not have the right to complain. A
private citizen, for example, cannot successfully complain that his
privacy was invaded because his photograph was published when
police raided a public establishment, such as asmassage parlor, ~
he was patronizing the establishment at t~e.tiW! of the raid

The ·tort of invasion of the right of prtvacy ‘is invoked
primarily in cases in which the defendant has made unauthorized
use of a person’s photograph or statement for commercial
ventures. These cases are generally more strict in allowing
damages to the party aggrieved than are cases in which a
noncommercial violation is involved. In the noncommercial cases,
the plaintiff must tolerate a certain amount of abusive language
and improper conduct, but when the offense reaches the point of
unreasonable risk of causing emotional distress the invasion is

It should be noted that many persons-scholars, writers, lawyers, journalists and lawmakers alike–believe that the right of privacy is in great peril as a result of sophisticated electronic equipment that permits almost undetectable “spying” on individuals. There also is grave concern about the invasion of privacy as a result of law enforcement agencies, credit bureaus, insurance fU”1118, governmental agencies and a host of others who are collecting dossiers on private citizens for a variety of reasons.


Meaning of Press Freedom:

According to the report from the commission of Freedom of Press, ‘FREEDOM’ means:

(i) Freedom of thinking.
(ii) Freedom of expression (Speech Writing, Printing etc.) freedom of expression is the protector and promote of all types of freedom.
(iii) Freedom of Action without any control or restriction from outside.
(iv) Freedom of use of required devices. Free Press Means:

An abscence of definite restrictions. No censorship except during wars. No courts order, no administrative order against opinion publications

In short we can define freedom of press 88 “Freedom of Collecting” transmitting and publishing informations. Each society has its own meaning of the word ‘Free Press’. Different societies have interpreted the meaning of free press in accordance with their own values and requirements. It will be interesting to note some of the objectives of the free press discussed in Geneva conference on ‘Freedom of information on March 23, 1948. The non-communist countries started from the assumption that freedom of the press means absence of directives and of concrete tasks and an atmosphere without constraints, in which the plays of ideas can take place. The communists nations were eager to lay down specific tasks for the press to “Fight Fascism” to unmask war mongers and so on; in general to harness the press rather than to leave it alone

Two series of proposals mirrored clearly the conflict of conceptions. The first came from the Filipino delegate who pointed out some of the objectives of a free press. They are

1. To tell the truth without prejudice and to spread knowledge without malicious intent.
2. To facilitate the solution of the economic, social and humanitarian problems of the world as a whole through the free interchange of information bearing on such problems.
3. To help promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without any discrimination of race, sex, language and religion.

The representative of USSR, on the other hand put forward the following tasks for the press

(i) To struggle for international peace and security.
(ii) To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of independence, equal rights, and self-determination of the people.
(iii) To organise the struggle for democratic principles for wiping out the remnants of FASCISM and for the expiration of FASCIST IDEOLOGY in all its forms;
(iv) To co-operate in solving problems relating to economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and to encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedom for all without
discrimination of race, sex, language or religion

The controversy over the two widely separated . conceptions continued all through the conference. When the time carne to draw up and agree on conventions for practical application. The non-communist countries resisted •.the inclusion in these conventions of specific tasks for the press incapable of exact definition, such as “The fighting of Fascism.” A general comprr .nise resolution was passed against false and distorted reports and warmongering but the actual conventions adopted against the opposition of the communist countries, provided for free activity and access to foreign correspondents, for the prohibition of censorship in peace time except under special conditions, an international right to insist on publishing corrections to false or distorted news reports; a general right to receive and impart information, and opinions without governmental interference. The consensus of world opinion was for a free rather than a harnessed press

Due to various interpretations of free press in various societies, media practitioners divide the world of the press into five categories i.e. Libertarian, Authoritarian, communist, Islamic, and socially responsible (SRT has different meaning in different societies). Here it is not possible to go into the detail of each press system, but the conclusion is known to every competent journalist that except in abstract, complete freedom of the press can never be obtained fully. That is the freedom of the press to criticize, to express. opinion, and to publish facts is restricted in the public interest in several ways

Posted on November 28, 2015 in Ethics And Libel

Share the Story

Back to Top