Newsworthiness as an Internet-Era Mitigant of Implicit Bias

38 Pages Posted: 8 May 2019

See all articles by Rory D. Bahadur

Rory D. Bahadur

Washburn University - School of Law

Date Written: April 9, 2019

Abstract

Current application of the newsworthiness privilege is based on traditional media’s reliance on the implicit biases of Christian morality. Objective analysis of the impact of these implicit biases demonstrates that they perpetuate the socioeconomic dominance of white males and suppress non-majoritarian views and values. Unless a radical restructuring of the newsworthiness privilege occurs, such implicit biases will remain entrenched. This Article recommends a radical but scientifically supported reformation of the newsworthiness privilege that essentially abolishes the tort of public disclosure of private fact. It wholeheartedly rejects recent scholarship that erroneously suggests a contraction of the newsworthiness privilege as normatively correct.

Applying the scientific principles of cognitive neurobiology to implicit bias, this Article exposes how implicit biases have permitted Christian morality to oppress minorities and females. It unapologetically demonstrates that the perpetuation of this oppression is caused by traditional media’s continued reliance on Christian morality as the basis of newsworthiness determinations and publication decisions. It furthermore exposes the scholarship suggesting continued reliance on traditional media to determine newsworthiness as itself elitist and implicitly biased.

The Article’s recommended reformation of the newsworthiness privilege employs the changing paradigms of mass publication in the internet era to provide a mechanism that mitigates against implicit bias. The importance of this work is underscored by current political and socioeconomic realities that not only necessitate, but demand, a reexamination of the normative assumptions involved in the determination of whether information is newsworthy.

Suggested Citation

Bahadur, Rory D., Newsworthiness as an Internet-Era Mitigant of Implicit Bias (April 9, 2019). University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 88, No. _, 2019, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3368966

Rory D. Bahadur (Contact Author)

Washburn University - School of Law ( email )

1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States

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