Posted by tkioz on Saturday, December 19, 2009
Over the last few weeks I've been considering a question, the question is is it time for new laws concerning journalists?
Journalists in most western nations have unparalleled freedoms when it comes to what they print, but increasing they are abusing those freedoms.
I'm not talking about journalists who publish exposes about war crimes, or dirty corporations, those journalists need those freedoms.
The journalists I'm talking about are the ones bombarding us with information about so-called "celebrities" private lives.
Just look at all the news coverage Tiger Woods has gotten in recent weeks, I'm not saying what he did was right, I'm also not saying what he did was wrong, it's not my place to judge a man whose claim to fame is the ability to play a really good game of golf.
For the most part defamation and libel laws only protect people from false hoods (and poorly at that), they don't protect people from having their private lives dragged out in front of the world. If he was a world leader or some other major figure whose ethics are vital to his job I could see it being in the public's interest to know, but he's not, he's a golf player, and he's just one example of the media dragging private lives of people into the public domain.
In my considered opinion the public doesn't have the right to know shit about him other then his latest score. It has been argued that they put themselves in the spot light so they're fair game... To that I say bull-fucking-shit. That's a watered down version of "she dressed in a mini-skirt so she deserves to get raped".
There is also the argument that they're "role-models" for children. Now as I've made myself known on a number of occasions I could give two shits about children or the catch-cry of "oh wont someone think of the children" but in this case it does have some merit, yes they are role-models, for how to sign or play a damn sport, not to be a perfect human being, these is no such beast, any more then Unicorns exist. Parents should be teaching their children how to live, how to make moral and ethical choices, not expecting sports players and artists to do it for them.
So with that in my mind, I think a new form of law needs to be introduced regarding journalists and the media in general, one that allows people to sue not just on the grounds of the truth of an article, but on one of the public's right to know.
The public has a right to know if some company is dumping toxins into their drinking water, undisputed.
Does the public have a right to know that celebrity a likes to have sex in a coffin? fuck no. And he/she should be able to sue a publication for making it known.
Now I know what you're asking, how would that help anything? the information would still be out there, well the first few times it wouldn't help, but after the first multi-million dollar judgement news papers and other media would start to think twice before publishing an article about someone's private life.
Well that's my 2 cents.
What do you think?