Marr, Freedom, and Privacy

BBC Politics journalist Andrew Marr on the red...
Image via Wikipedia

I can’t pretend I didn’t laugh a little when this story about Andrew Marr and his super-injunction broke.

The reason I laughed was because I got a little sight of karma at work there after last year’s rant from Marr which I wrote about here.

Then I stopped and had a think. And I have to wonder, if I were in his shoes, would I not have done the same thing? He may well be in the public eye, but his wife and kids certainly aren’t.

And the truth of the matter is that Andrew Marr’s sex life isn’t really in the public interest. At least it shouldn’t be.

Ok, so there’s an element of hypocrisy about it. Marr has been known to ask prying, personal questions of those he interviews. Marr showed little concern for their personal lives, so I’m not sure why we should show so much concern for his. But some of us do.

The fairly recent coverage of injunctions, super-injunctions, hyper-injunctions, and contra mundum orders, raises a larger question of privacy laws versus freedom of the press.

Surely now, with technology making it ever easier to be very invasive about a person’s life, is the right time to have a proper, reasoned debate about the balance between privacy laws versus freedoms of the press.

Of course, that debate would have to be driven by the media and I suspect they may be slightly biassed. Maybe it’s time for citizen journalists of the blogosphere to pick this issue up and run with it. It’d certainly be more interesting than Andrew Marr’s love life or the AV debate…

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