Week 7 - Privacy: Where do you get it?  

Posted by Valinka

Journalism Theory in Practice by Suellen Tapsall & Carolyn Varley

Ch 12

So, another controversy in the realm of journalism: privacy. Be it the privacy of a public figure or the privacy of the internet users.

Well, for me, the information that we put on the internet is our own responsibility. Like my brother who's a paranoid (cos he's a programmer and knows all kind of things hackers do), he doesn't sign-up for any networking sites but for Facebook and even in Facebook he doesn't put many information. He still uses Facebook to comment and interact alright, but no information is disclosed. He's safe should his boss (or future gf) tries to Google him.

So, information put on the internet is really the choice of the users.

While for the question of privacy infringement by journalists, I also think that it is not the journalists' fault or responsibility. Journalists live to find information. As soon as you expose yourself to public's interest, you should be ready to be followed by journalists or their evil twin, the paparazzi.

Everything comes with a price tag; what's written on the price tag of fame is loss of privacy.

If we talk about public interest, we have to understand first, is it the "interest" as in the well-being or "interest" as in the curiosity of the public?
The presenting group asked a good question: how do we distinguish among what the public has the right to know, needs to know, or want to know?

Of course, any news that might affect the well-being of the public, or their surroundings, should be informed to them. But journalists should not just satiate public's curiosity with any random news about someone (celebrity gossips, for example).

The presenting group brought up an interesting example of in-between case. Like inspirational story, should journalists publish it if it could bring back trauma to the person(s) involved? I say, if it's inspiring other people, why not? However, the key is, the publisher (or publishing party) must obtain permission from the person(s) involved. If the person(s) was informed first, there should be no shock that could bring back the trauma experienced.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at Tuesday, June 21, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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