Chapter 5 Communications Law_ Privacy

Chapter 5 Communications Law_ Privacy - Karen Baxter JRLC...

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Karen Baxter JRLC 5040 Extra Credit 810-107-4280 Chapter 5: Privacy INTRODUCTION Right of privacy is a development of the 20 th century Right of privacy is rooted in the dignity of the individual Nearly all 50 states recognize the right to privacy Also includes the right to be portrayed accurately in the media and right to prohibit the unauthorized commercial exploitation of one’s name or picture in advertising and public relations 4 th Amendment recognizes citizens’ reasonable expectation of privacy in their “papers” PRIVATE FACTS Restatement (Second) of Torts defines private-facts and summarizes common law. o Involves the disclosure of personal information Relatively few courts have found publication of private information sufficiently offensive and sufficiently lacking in newsworthiness to justify punishing the media Private-facts plaintiff does not sue for lost reputation resulting from false statements Publication of private facts is usually a tort only if dissemination was widespread Highly Offensive Disclosure of Private Information Private-facts plaintiff must establish that the information publicized is in fact private and that dissemination of that information is highly offensive to the average person Media are most likely to be held liable for private-facts tort if they reveal intimate information about: Illnesses, mental disorders, intimate medical procedures, hospitalizations BARBER v. TIME INC o Time magazine invaded the privacy of Dorothy Barber when the magazine published her picture and a story about her unusual eating disorder o Referred to her as “starving glutton” If there is any right of privacy at all, it should include the right to obtain medical treatment at a home or in a hospital for an individual personal condition without personal publicity The Public Domain Private-facts plaintiffs can successfully sue only if the highly embarrassing information revealed about them is actually PRIVATE COX BROADCASTING CORP v. COHN o Court established nearly complete 1 st Amendment protection for the media to report information from official records available in open court o GA father could not being privacy suit against a TV station for reporting the name of his daughter in violation of GA statute. o Daughter had been a rape victim Matters of Public Importance
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Restatement of Torts defines private facts as information NOT of legitimate concern to the public FLORIDA STAR v. BJF o Court said the 1 st amendment protects publication of lawfully acquired truthful information about a matter of public importance if the information is truthfully and lawfully acquired o Court reversed a judgment against a weekly Jacksonville newspaper for publishing the full name of BJF, a rape victim, which was in violation of a 1911 state statute.
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Chapter 5 Communications Law_ Privacy - Karen Baxter JRLC...

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