I'm finishing up my take-home law exam, and I have to say, it's a class that gives one very mixed, very strong feelings about being a journalist. I mean, on one hand we have Justice Louis Brandeis:
"But [those who won our independence] knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones."
and Justice Black on the Pentagon Papers:
"And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."
and on the other hand we have the case of Sidis vs. F-R Pub. Corp. Legal considerations aside, we read how
"But the article is merciless in its dissection of intimate details of its subject's personal life, and this in company with elaborate accounts of Sidis' passion for privacy and the pitiable lengths to which he has gone in order to avoid public scrutiny."
Journalists can be really horrible. I guess the thing to do is a) not to be evil and b) take full advantage of the freedoms we have and do something worthwhile with them.
I guess it's also the responsibility of the readers to spend more of their reading time and money on things having to do with foreign shot and shell and less with dissection the private lives of sad and unimportant people.