From our readers: Public interest or interesting to public?

Your Reputation Survey on celebrities' right to privacy (Features, 17 September), complemented Schillings' recent report Private Life in the Public Eye, based on interviews with leading celebrities, their PROs and advisers.

Too often privacy is invaded, and reputations damaged, by the publication of stories that are untrue or where the main aim is to satisfy salacious curiosity about the lives of the rich and famous irrespective of the distress caused to them, their families and their friends.

Press freedom is protected where the story is in the public interest, but as a law firm we constantly have to argue the difference between what is of 'public interest' and what is simply 'interesting to the public'. Open any tabloid newspaper today and you will read stories about celebrities' personal relationships, families, private events and health issues, which in no way serve the public interest.

In our own survey earlier this year, the vast majority of people were in favour of the media having to give subjects prior notification before publishing damaging stories.

However in reality, very few are actually contacted. This is something we at Schillings are seeking to challenge, in line with the DCMS' recent recommendations.

Larina Mullins, associate, Schillings

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.