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This year's Reuters Memorial Lecturer, Baroness Onora O'Neill writes in the Financial Times about what we mean when we talk about press freedom.While nobody doubts that press freedom matters, it is frequently discussed in terms of a rhetoric of rights that fails to address the real issues. Unargued appeals to rights show up in current disputes, and nowhere more so than in claims about the proper boundary between rights to freedom of expression and rights to privacy. Both rights are asserted in the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 assigns everyone a "right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence", while Article 10 assigns everyone a "right to freedom of expression (that) shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers." But the Convention does not assert unconditional rights (it lists restrictions in the second parts of both Articles 8 and 10), and it does not rank the rights it asserts in order of importance.
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