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    Monday, 20 July 2009

    Report on privacy and the public interest

    The Oxford University based Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has published a report written by Stephen Whittle and Glenda Cooper on the theme on Privacy, Probity and the Public Interest.

    Its an interesting enough read, and its key findings offer a useful precis of the state of the debate at present. Ultimately, the authors recommend that media investigations should be proportionate to what is being investigated and clearly targeted. They conclude that journalists should hold or deploy:
    - a clear sense of what the public interest justification might be
    - some justifying evidence to take an investigation
    forward so that it is not a ‘fishing expedition’
    - the minimum amount of deception
    - very clear rules about when secret recording takes place
    - a clear set of authorisations from within the editorial line management
    chain;
    - a robust rationale for what is eventually put into the public domain
    and how.

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