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      I just want some privacy

                      Privacy & public places
                      Public ...

      Covering grief – never easy
Whether it's right or wrong, I hate
the way we cover grief, get right in  ...

The general rule
                       Everyone has a
                       reasonable expectation

      Privacy & fairness
                                BSA guidelines seem to
A picture of an

   “Click” –
   photography & privacy

    Regulating privacy
        BSA                           Press Council
        Reasonable               ...

     & the techno-legal time gap

         BSA covers broadcasting
         Press Council cover...

          Privacy and celebrity
                                                        Celebs live from the...

Rights to official information
  Official Information is any information held by the
  There ar...
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Jle 2010 Privacy 1 Week 4


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Week 4 of my series of lectures on journalism ethics in 1st semester 2010

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Jle 2010 Privacy 1 Week 4

  1. 1. 3/30/2010 I just want some privacy Privacy & public places Public interest, privacy & secrecy Is there a clause for that? I think you'd first have to find journos JOURNZ who knew there was a code of ethics. Discussion list for I seem to remember informal New Zealand surveys that showed that many journos didn't know we had a code journalists or if they did where they could find it and what it said. Responses to my Might be a question worth asking questions about again now. death knocks and the code of ethics More on death knocks A young off-duty police officer drowned I've lost track of the number of after trying to raft down a river while times I've been ordered to it was still in flood in the early 90s. intrude on private The morning they found his body, grief. Refusal to so intrude would Network demanded I contact his have meant instant sacking. grandparents, who he was living with at So many of our brethren love the the time. Death Knock. I refused and was told to front up or The more tears, the better. else. The cops hadn't given any direct So much for ethics. statements until then. I phoned one of the friendly seniors, The day I become comfortable explained my predicament, and he with death knocks will be the day gave me a perfect 10 second sound I stop doing bite for use in the next bulletin. them. Until then I'll do them, but I Network filled the hole and moved on to won't be enjoying it. the next headline and I was left with my moral decision intact. 1
  2. 2. 3/30/2010 Covering grief – never easy Whether it's right or wrong, I hate the way we cover grief, get right in Another way to cover the face of people crying for a grief? loved one, and film funerals in churches. Find a spokesperson who is I turn it off. not a direct relative I'm no fan of death knocks. I hate doing it. But sometimes there is Go through agency such as value in them. police or church I do remember one occasion where the deceased's parents Timing – can you wait? wanted to talk because they Express empathy, but wanted their son to be remembered as a person rather remember professional than a statistic. distance Privacy: where ethics and law collide Principles and politics of privacy The legal framework Recent cases and precedents Surveillance The techno-legal time gap Privacy and the right-to-know Common law privacy issues Courts can decide issues in relation to media intrusions on privacy (Hosking case 2005) Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy? Would publication be offensive to an ordinary person? 2
  3. 3. 3/30/2010 The general rule Everyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy Should not disclose private facts if to do so would be highly offensive to a reasonable person Defence: public interest test Privacy principles and the media What’s generally covered: Family court proceedings tight restrictions on what’s reported Interception of conversations unless you have permission and/or you are one party Photography for private purposes Intercepting mail Lesser privacy People in the public eye have a lower expectation of privacy Public officials – held to account Celebrities – profit from their fame Prominent people in public life Serious criminals 3
  4. 4. 3/30/2010 Privacy & fairness BSA guidelines seem to A picture of an identifiable person suggest there is a link between leaving a brothel or a intrusions into privacy and a Narcotics Anonymous meeting is objectionable report being “unfair” to the because it demonstrates subject that that person uses prostitutes or has a drug Does the subject have a addiction. (Moreham 2010, p.6) “reasonable expectation” of privacy Identification is an issue, but so intimacy Is this fair… …or this? Naomi Campbell UK case after 3 years of legal action Cost the Daily Mirror more than $2 million in costs (see case study) This is a very good day for lying drug- abusing prima donnas who want to have their cake with the media, and the right to then shamelessly guzzle it with their Cristal champagne Piers Morgan Daily Mirror editor 4
  5. 5. 3/30/2010 “Click” – photography & privacy Photography Copyright Act – images for private purpose are protected Private facts which would be offensive to publish Hidden cameras – “intrusion into solitude” Trespass to photograph Contempt of court & defamation through image and/or caption Law Commission report Ch 6 focus on media & privacy Recognises shifting political economy & material conditions “…there is an increasing merging of news and entertainment… …there is pressure to cut costs… …citizen journalism…blogs, chatrooms and sites like Facebook, Bebo and YouTube…” (p.75) Self-regulation of privacy issues Press Council 6 complaints out of 43 in 2008 relate to privacy BSA 2008-9: 17 out of 151 complaints about privacy Law Commission comment on anomalies of regulation and self-regulation: There has been much comment that it is difficult to understand why broadcasters and the print media are dealt with so differently, the one by a statutory body which can impose legal sanctions, and the other by a voluntary body which cannot (p.77)… There is, of course, a much wider issue…It is how, if at all, the internet can be regulated. (p.78) 5
  6. 6. 3/30/2010 Regulating privacy BSA Press Council Reasonable Privacy should not expectation interfere with public Offensive interest Intrusive methods People in the news Public information is can be identified – not private public interest Public place not a Authority cannot claim defence all times the cloak of privacy Be careful around children Privacy and dubious methods Breaking and Some criminal offences involve conduct so clearly entering a private against the public interest dwelling house, that it could not for a moment be supposed that intimate covert the media should be filming, exempt, however worthy and demanding their motives might be. Law Commission with menaces 2010, p.79 …but …it may at times be BSA principle 8 justifiable for the media allows exception for to telephone a person or accost a person in media to intrude on the street on more than privacy for greater one occasion if public interest information of legitimate public concern is being Hidden camera may sought. also be justified on Law Commission 2010, p.79 occasion 6
  7. 7. 3/30/2010 Privacy & the techno-legal time gap BSA covers broadcasting Press Council covers newspapers & magazines Privacy Commission cannot regulate the “news media” No on regulates privacy breaches via the Internet Solution…another dialectic We wonder whether there may be merit in amending the So would definition of “news medium” in the Privacy Act to resolve this not be “news media”? dilemma, perhaps by providing that online publications which How many ways does are not subject to any other regulator are not “news media” this not make sense? and thus are subject to the Privacy Commissioner’s What alternatives are jurisdiction. (Law Commission, there? 2010, p.77) Is the Internet really free? Covert filming Media will have some defences which allow covert filming of “interior of a dwelling”: it is a place of work or business to protect health & safety expose the commission of an offence Cannot trespass, or break-in to install surveillance devices 7
  8. 8. 3/30/2010 Privacy and celebrity Celebs live from the exposure they get Media makes money from the exposure too "I'd be lying if I said I hadn't read it What level of privacy or watched the television and the news. I've seen it, but I understand exists in the collision that you guys [media] have a job to do and me being a professional between their world athlete, it's not just about what I do on the field, it's off the field as well. and ours? Michael Clarke, NZ Herald 20-3-10 The Hosking tort tort Wrongful act, other than a breach of contract, that injures another and for which the law permits a civil (noncriminal) action to be brought. Relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction. Defence: “legitimate public concern” protects media against accusations of unwarranted intrusion into personal matters [Burrows & Cheer 2005, p.247++] Secrets and lies It can be argued,(too,)that lying and secrecy are basic to any government; that it is only human nature for political leaders to tend to conceal the truth, hide their mistakes or wrongdoing, and mislead the public. That easy rationale is not acceptable, however, in a democracy, which depends upon an informed public. David Wise, The politics of lying (1973) p.24 8
  9. 9. 3/30/2010 Rights to official information Official Information is any information held by the Government There are two Acts that govern access to official information: the Official Information Act 1982; and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. The purpose of the law is to: increase the availability of official information to promote more effective public participation in the making and administration of laws and policies; Homework Reading BSA review of privacy decisions Law Commission report, Ch6 (Tutorial worksheets) Burrows and Cheer Media Law in New Zealand excerpt on Hosking decision (e.reserve) Price, Chs 5, 15, 20 Official Information Act – guidelines (online) 9