Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

The media's use of intrusive newsgathering techniques poses an increasing threat to individual privacy. Courts currently resolve the overwhelming majority of conflicts in favor of the media. This is not because the First Amendment bars the imposition of tort liability on the media for its newsgathering practices. It does not. Rather, tort law has failed to seize the opportunity to create meaninful privacy protection. After surveying the economic, philosophical, and practical obstacles to reform, this Article proposes to rejuvenate the tort of intrusion to tip the balance between privacy and the press back in privacy's direction. Working within the framework of traditional tort law, this Article advocates reform of intrusion's doctrinal flaws followed by the adoption of a newsgatherer's privilege to protect media intrusions that serve a significant public interest.

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