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Case Law – Right to Privacy and Limitations on Freedom of the Press

Missouri Supreme Court decision Barber v. Time, 159 S.W.2d 291 (Mo. 1942), was one of the first to establish that the balance between an individual’s right to privacy and freedom of the press does not depend solely on the truth of or the absence of malice in what is published, but on the judicial determination of “proper public interest.”

If press coverage either does not address proper public interest,

or

does so in a way that is

“serious, unreasonable, unwarranted and offensive interference with another’s private affairs,” (then)

the press has violated the individual’s right to privacy.

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