Sometimes, most of society such as, terrorist

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Sometimes, it can be hard for journalists to distinguish between
privacy and what is in the public’s interest. 
‘public interest’ and ‘privacy’ both pose problems as to what they mean
and how they should be used. The public interest would be stories covering
issues that will affect most of society such as, terrorist attacks, crime,
politics etc. There are also stories which aren’t the public interest, however
they are of interest to members of the public, an example of this is celebrity

When trying to create a balance between privacy and public
interest, journalists face a lot of contradiction. It is their duty to seek a
balance between the rights of an individual and the needs of the wider
community. Although journalists cannot say things that aren’t true, people also
have the freedom of expression and this is where the difficulty may arise when
journalists are writing a story which is known as the clash of rights. In the article,
‘Defamation of character or Freedom of speech?’ (2017) it explains the fine line
between defamation and protected opinion by stating, “If you make a statement about a matter of public interest, i.e., a
local political scandal, it probably will not be considered defamatory. For
example, if you tell people that you think it is true that a local politician
took a bribe, when such allegations are all over the local headlines, that is
probably protected speech.”

Journalists can sometimes violate the privacy of people, especially
public figures. This usually happens when they try to get more information on a
story than competing newspapers or fellow journalists. Journalists can interfere
with people’s privacy through accessing information, for example, phone hacking.
A disturbing example of this is the case of phone hacking in 2011 when a private
investigator from ‘News of the world’ hacked the phone of murdered school girl Milly
Dowler. The Guardian news article (2011) stated, “…deleted – the voicemail messages of Milly Dowler. The messages were
deleted by journalists in the first few days after Milly’s disappearance in
order to free up space for more messages. As a result, friends and relatives of
Milly concluded wrongly that she might still be alive.”  This was unethical as it gave her family false
hope that she was alive and it also interfered with evidence from a police investigation. David Goguen (2017) Defamation of character or freedom of speech?
Available at:
(Accessed: 7th January 2017). Nick Davies and Amelia Hill (2011) ‘Missing Milly Dowler’s
voicemail was hacked by News of the World’, The Guardian, 4th July

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(Accessed: 7th January 2017) 

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