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Discussion on the Conflict and Balance between Freedom of the Press and Privacy Right-- A Case Study of Cantrell V. Forest City Publishing Co

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DOI: 10.38007/Proceedings.0001758


Kaisi Zheng

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Kaisi Zheng


Abstract: Proceeding from the case of Cantrell V. Forest City Publishing Co, this paper discusses the application of the principle of actual malice as the principle of liability. Based on the theory of "false light" and the previous cases, this paper tries to balance the freedom of the press and the right to public privacy through the transfer of the burden of proof. The principle of actual malice takes into account the fluidity and capricious situation of journalists who report current affairs, which makes the media escape from jury examination and a large number of lawsuits for damages, and thus it was more inclined to realize the right of media supervision to a greater extent. The malicious standard of the common law system, namely, the tort law supports punitive damages on the basis of "false light". The case should focus on the infringer's attitude towards the victim's privacy, not on the truthfulness of the published content, nor on the plaintiff's failure to prove that the defendant knew the report contained false content or recklessly ignored the truth.


Keywords: Principle of Actual Malice, the "False Light" Theory, Freedom of the Press and Public Privacy, Factual Malice