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March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in ethics, social sciences

Running Head : Public figures , privacy and the media ‘Public figures , privacy and the media : Analysis of the law

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The term media ‘ refers to the different methods and means of communication that exist to pass on information on a massive scale . The importance of the media within communities should not be undervalued , as it exists as a way to keep the individual members of that community on the same page regarding notices and public events of small and great importance . In times of disaster , media coverage is necessary to [banner_entry_middle]

br facilitate the dissemination of advisory information and to cover public addresses by local , national and international leaders . SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 Yet neither the federal nor state constitutions of Australia guarantee free speech or freedom of the press (Australian Press Council 2006 . What does exist is a document based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19 ) called Charter for a Free Press in Australia (2006 . The mission of this charter can be expressed in the following statement : The Charter recognises [ .] the right to the free flow of information to enable news and opinion of public interest to be freely available to the citizens of Australia (Australian Press Council , 2006

In Australia , there exists no general tort of privacy ‘ though it has recently been ruled by the Queensland District Court that individuals are allowed to sue for privacy invasion (Australian Press Council 2006 . It has been reported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority that the media recognize the need to strike a balance between respecting the privacy of the individual and performing their duty as public informants (ACMA , 2005 . The ACMA recognises the existence of tension between the two extremes , and this tension is very often evident in media coverage of the lives of public figures (Eggins Lederma 1997 . These public figures span a wide range , which is inclusive of statesmen , celebrities , and business persons . The fame associated with these persons also exists on different levels , ranging from local to national , and even international . Certain aspects of the law deal specifically with privacy , such as the breach of confidence action and the provisions of the Privacy Act , 1988 (Steketee , M . 2001 Dimitriadis Carlson , 2003 . Other areas of the law deal with defamation , and these areas also apply to the media as they become the means for the publication of defamatory statements

The Commonwealth ‘s legislative controls on media ownership can be divided into two broad categories : specific and generic controls Specific controls are related to broadcasting and contained within the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 . These derive from the Commonwealth ‘s power to make laws with respect to electronic communications under section 51 (v ) of the Constitution . Generic controls are related to commercial activity and contained within the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 . These derive from the Commonwealth ‘s powers over trade and corporations under sections 51 (i ) and 51 (xx ) of the Constitution . Thus while the… [banner_entry_footer]

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