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Public Interest
Public interest

This term is used specifically in legal contexts, and in a wider sense in media contexts of ethics, communications policy and social responsibility. It can denote specific criteria by which the usual legal rights of an individual or organization, e.g. to defend their reputation, or protect confidential matters, privacy or copyright, are justifiably over-ridden by the need for information to be published to benefit society, e.g. to help it understand events or scrutinize people in the public eye.

Similarly, journalists' ethical codes of conduct (e.g. those used by Press Complaints Commission and Ofcom, and the BBC Producers' Guidelines) recognize that in some circumstances, because of the actual or potential social importance of the matter being probed, there must be public interest exceptions to ethical ...

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