The Trouble with Dignity (Invited Chapter)
Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law. Andrew T. Kenyon, Editor. (Cambridge University Press 2016)
Posted: 20 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2016
This chapter from the book Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law explores the broad rights that newspapers in the United States enjoy regarding the publication of truthful information about public officials, public figures, and others. It examines the law that has for many years encouraged such expansive coverage, including privacy provisions from the highly influential Restatement of Torts. It also explores journalism ethics standards that, in turn, have kept some inflammatory information out of print despite press-accommodating law. It suggests that some newer media organizations, believing themselves protected by the First Amendment but unwilling to follow traditional ethics provisions, have the potential to change the course of First Amendment protections. It argues that the law must change in the United States to be more respectful of privacy, but must avoid a single-minded focus on human dignity that would unconstitutionally impact press freedoms.
Keywords: First Amendment, defamation, privacy law, media law, journalism, publication of private facts
JEL Classification: K00, K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation