Policing Privacy: Regulating Information Dissemination between the Media and the Police by Alwyn and Prerna

About the Author: Alwyn & Prerna are Law Student at School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore
  1. Introduction

The role of the media was often understood as a mere mediator of primary information to the public. However, this role has been expanded over the past few decades owing to the era of globalization and democratization.[1] The media, has been the cornerstone for the ‘collusion of adverse opinions’.[2] John Stuart Mill opined that the ideal role of the media is to discover the truth, and in doing so, it is justified in deliberating on various matters within the ‘marketplace of ideas’.[3] Sometimes the functionality of the media is diluted with regulations posed by the state. Nevertheless, the freedom of speech and expression is quintessential for the proper functioning of the state system.

This freedom not only enables public participation in a democratic society[4], but also plays an integral part of every citizen’s right to self development and fulfillment.[5] This freedom is not an end in itself but a means of identifying and accepting the truth.[6] No right is absolute; every right has its restrictions. Many nations have imposed restrictions on this freedom in light of morality, national security and privacy. However, privacy, amongst the various other restrictions, also happens to be a positive right. Thus it is safe to assert that the right to speech and the right to privacy are mutually exclusive and hard to reconcile.

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