Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Wright on Slightly More Than Two Cheers For Sneaky Private Investigations Into Questionable Business Operations

R. George Wright, Indiana University McKinney School of Law, has published Slightly More Than Two Cheers For Sneaky Private Investigations Into Questionable Business Operations. Here is the abstract.

Journalists and interest groups often investigate, more or less clandestinely, the business practices of a particular corporate enterprise. Their aim in doing so is to document and graphically publicize illegal or controversial such practices. How the criminal and civil law should respond to such undercover investigations is the focus of the inquiry below. Ultimately, three full-throated cheers for such private-party investigations is excessive. The investigations in question may, in some cases, run up against, merely for example, limits set by valuable personal privacy rights. A mere two cheers response, however, is insufficient. The free speech-related and other public interest value of such investigations is collectively too great for only two cheers. Two and a half cheers may then seem an apt accommodation of the conflicting interests at stake. Herein, though, a slight muting of the two and a half cheers is endorsed. This final adjustment is strategically intended to encourage investigators to minimize any unnecessary harms caused by their valuable investigation and reporting in the public interest.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2023/12/wright-on-slightly-more-than-two-cheers-for-sneakly-private-investigations-into-questionable-busines.html

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