Volume 15 (2009) / Issue 1
This article suggests that different free speech principles apply in cases involving ‘journalists’ compared to ‘non–journalists’, as in Connolly v. DPP. Strict principles apply when a journalist’s right to speak is threatened because the media exercise a valuable public watchdog role worth protecting even when competing interests exist. When non–journalists speak the same strict principles are absent even though speech of similar public interest may be involved. The justification for allowing interference is that such extreme and unpopular speech is not sufficiently valuable. This distinction, though superficially appealing, is troubling, not least because non–journalists might also act as public watchdog.
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