E. Supp.

Meaningful Journalism or “Infotainment”? The Failure to Define the Public Interest in Axel Springer Ag v. Germany

Abstract: Although American courts provide wide discretion for freedom of the press, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ensures that the right to privacy enjoys equal footing with freedom of expression in Europe. When navigating the grey areas between these two frequently opposing rights, the European Court of Human Rights allows private information about a public figure to be published only to the extent the information contributes to the public interest. In Axel Springer AG v. Germany, the court missed a valuable opportunity to provide a clear standard for what the public interest encompasses. Although the court seems content with deciding this issue on a case-by-case basis, the resulting ambiguity can be detrimental for both the press and the individuals on whom the press often reports.

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