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Most of the UK controversies about, and official inquiries into, journalistic ethics have been triggered by concern about privacy. Journalistic intrusions into an individual's privacy fall into two basic categories:

  • invasion of physical and personal space to gather information about or images of you – which could include journalists laying siege in a media scrum to your home, persistently knocking on your door or ringing you, following you, filming who you meet, listening to/recording your conversations, pestering your friends for information;
  • the publication of (true) private facts, e.g. about relationships, sexual orientation, sexual habits, finances, health.

Perhaps a third category of intrusion is the publication of speculation about an individual's private thoughts or feelings, which, while neither true nor libellous, could hinder their actual or potential relationships, ...

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