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66 Ky. L.J. 759 (1977-1978)
Media Reporting and Privacy Claims--Decline in Consitutional Protection for the Press

handle is hein.journals/kentlj66 and id is 769 raw text is: Media Reporting and Privacy Claims
-Decline in Constitutional Protection
for the Press
By GERALD G. ASHDOWN*
INTRODUCTION
The Supreme Court of the United States has frequently
been faced with the task of safeguarding freedom of speech and
press under the commands of the first amendment. This exer-
cise has been complicated by the continual clash between free-
dom of expression and some other value, both demanding pro-
tection and deserving recognition. The court has had to balance
these competing interests in order to reach a solution to the
problems created by this conflict. Given the pervasive influ-
ence and broad scope of the first amendment,I this value con-
flict has characteristically been resolved by giving priority to
freedom of speech and press.2 For example, in past decisions
the Court has protected pornography,3 defamatory publica-
tions,4 invasions of privacy,5 politial activity of a potentially
disruptive nature,' and, at the expense of school administra-
* Assistant Professor of Law, University of Kentucky. B.B.A. 1969, J.D. 1972,
University of Iowa.
The primary function of freedom of speech and press is to keep citizens informed
so that they may govern themselves effectively. Meiklejohn, The First Amendment Is
An Absolute, 1961 Sup. CT. Rav. 245, 254-56. See also Time, Inc. v. Hill, 385 U.S. 374,
389 (1967); Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 102 (1940); Bloustein, The FirstAmend-
ment and Privacy: The Supreme Court Justice and the Philosopher, 28 RurTanS L.
REV. 41, 42-51 (1974). Freedom of speech also serves a self-fulfillment function, see
T. EMERSON, THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF ExPRESSION (1970). As such, freedom of
expression protects not only each citizen in the transfer of ideas and information, but
also preserves society itself through the facilitation of participatory democracy.
I But see, e.g., United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968); Communist Party
v. Subversive Activities Control Bd., 367 U.S. 1 (1961); Konigsberg v. State Bar, 366
U.S. 36 (1961); Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942).
E.g., Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973); Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383
U.S. 413 (1966); Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957).
1 See, e.g., Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, Inc., 403 U.S. 29 (1971); Curtis Publishing
Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967); New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
5 E.g., Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975); Time, Inc. v. Hill,
385 U.S. 374 (1967).
1 E.g., Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576 (1969); Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131
(1966); Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536 (1965).

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