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Media and Public Shaming

The media today, and especially the national press, are frequently in conflict with people in the public eye, particularly politicians and celebrities, over the disclosure of private information and behaviour.

Historically, journalists have argued that ‘naming and shaming’ serious wrong-doing and behaviour on the part of public officials is justified as being in the public interest.  However, when the media spotlight is shone on perfectly legal personal behaviour, family issues and sexual orientation, and when, in particular, this involves ordinary people, the question arises of whether such matters are really in the ‘public interest’ in any meaningful sense of the term.

In this book, leading academics, commentators and journalists from a variety of different cultures, consider the extent to which the media are entitled to reveal details of people’s private lives, the laws and regulations which govern such revelations, and whether these are still relevant in the age of social media.

"In the post-Leveson world of on and offline media, where rumour and disinformation as much as news, create headlines in seconds, the relationship between individual privacy, public interest and press freedom has never been so ethically complex or more radically contested. Julian Petley has brought together a distinguished group of journalists and journalism scholars to analyse, debate and disentangle these complexities and identify possible ways forward in a shifting world of press regulation. The Media, Privacy and Public Shaming is a significant and timely collection. It should be read by everyone interested in the future of journalism and news media; we all have interests in democracy."

Bob Franklin, Professor of Journalism Studies, Cardiff University, UK.

Julian Petley is Professor of Screen Media in the School of Arts at Brunel University, a member of the editorial board of the British Journalism Review and of the advisory board of Index on Censorship.  He has recently co-edited Moral Panics in the Contemporary World (with Chas Critcher, Jason Hughes, and Amanda Rohloff), and his most recent publications include Film and Video Censorship in Modern Britain and Censorship: A Beginner's Guide. A former journalist, he is co-chair of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.

This publication can be bought from I. B. Tauris