Steven Price

My book

Media Minefield

Guide to NZ Media Law

Official Information Act

Official Information Act

Bill of Rights Act

Media law resources

Feeds (RSS)

« | Main | »

Daily Mail editor strikes blow for the public right to know celebrities’ sexual habits

By Steven | November 13, 2008

In a speech to the Society of Editors conference, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre called Justice David Eady “amoral and arrogant” and panned his pro-privacy decisions. He argued that Justice Eady was stopping the press from exposing the immoral conduct of public figures.

He said this like it was a bad thing.

The sort of immoral conduct he had in mind was Formula One boss Max Mosley’s B & D habit:

What the judge loftily calls the “new rights-based jurisprudence” of the Human Rights Act seems to be ruling out any such thing as public standards of morality and decency, and the right of newspapers to report on digressions from those standards.

More sensible commentators have exposed this as a load of bollocks, and hypocritical to boot. My favourite: Polly Toynbee:

Press freedom is precious – but it doesn’t depend on the right to be prurient. The right to privacy is precious too: one article can destroy a reputation, and that can never be reclaimed with any puny compensation or apology. There is no “press freedom” to tell us exactly what everyone does without their clothes on.

Several prominent QCs waded in, too, pointing out that it was Parliament that legislated for privacy, that it was the House of Lords that handed down the key judgments, and that Justice Eady’s judgments have sometimes favoured the press.



Topics: Defamation, Media ethics, Privacy tort | No Comments »


You must be logged in to post a comment.