General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

Can newsgathering be harassment or stalking?

Asked by luigirovatti (2836points) June 6th, 2020

Or are the journalists always protected by the holier-than-thou freedom of the press? I mean, when does their behaviour legally degenerates and escalates?

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18 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course journalists can harass and stalk their quarry. And they themselves are routinely harassed and stalked even brutally exterminated in their turn.

luigirovatti's avatar

@stanleybmanly: But, they can’t always be right, right? Especially when their news has not yet been proven, for example, in a courtroom. I mean, even their sources are anonymous.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

That is the law in the USA:

First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Tropical_Willie: Anyway, there is always abuse, that’s all I’m saying.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

But there is a Constitution and in non Democratic countries there in no Free Press only propaganda.

As an aside USA is listed a country that it is dangerous to be a member of media/press.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Tropical_Willie: That doesn’t mean I’m not right, and anyway, we can’t limit the discussion just to the USA.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Well that is where I am and in Mexico it is not safe to be in the media. Number one most dangerous in the World.

si3tech's avatar

I believe “NEWS GATHERING” can be invasion of privacy and can be stalking. And not necessarily “peaceful”. Getting the scoop is “the be all end all” pursuit!

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t know of any cases where journalists stooped to that kind of behavior. There are many times when you read that some official or celebrity did not wish to make a statement, and that is accepted.

The relationship between the press and politicians and celebrities is a two way street. Politicians and celebrities like to use the press to gain publicity.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A free press is essential to a free society.

si3tech's avatar

Free press is especially essential when it is truth, and fact.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Why do you keep saying “harassment”? What, exactly, is it about the free press that you object to?

janbb's avatar

There’s a difference between paparazzi harassing celebrities and journalists researching a story.
Perhaps it’s different where you live but just reasserting your word without any details doesn’t further the discussion at all.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Darth_Algar, @janbb: Actually, janbb explained it well with a term I forgot: “paparazzi”. Most journalists, anyway, crowd themselves toward the house the victim lives in, photographing all the details they can outside the gates (rough approximation, but you get the idea). When the person living in the house exits, they stick as close as possible to the person, even in the middle of the road, with the cars and everything, without keeping more distance, with microphones, cameras, all bombarding him/her with questions, etc. And they crowd the workplace too. So much so that the boss must fire you for the bad image the press will give him/her in connection with the victim. ALL THIS WITHOUT A COURTROOM PROVING THE CLAIMS THE PRESS DO, EVEN WITH THEIR SOURCES ANONYMOUS (as I’ve stated above). That’s all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

You seem to be conflating two very different things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It depends on the methods they use. If they break the law in their pursuit of a story, of course they can be charged.

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