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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Someone's old photos and the right to privacy

ABC TV's Media Watch last night also looked at the "Hanson' photos and media standards regarding privacy. This from the transcript was particularly telling:
"So what was the public interest in publishing these photos?
We asked Helen McCabe that question yesterday. She told us:
That's for our readers to tell. That will be determined by the number of people that buy the paper.
— Statement from Helen McCabe, (Deputy Editor, The Sunday Telegraph) to Media Watch, 15th March, 2009
That's not any public interest test I've ever heard of.

Jonathon Holmes concluded with this comment, picking up on John Hartigan's observations referred to here yesterday that there is no place in our system for a cause of action:

"Pauline Hanson has demanded retractions. She might yet sue for defamation. And she might win. But if there were a statutory right to privacy she'd have a lay down misere. This sleazy exercise, Mr Hartigan, makes it all the more likely that very soon, there will be."
I'm with Holmes but some in the media seem to be on the wrong side of this argument.

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