Public interest

How the NUJ defines the public interest.

  1. The public interest includes:
    1. Detecting or exposing crime or a serious misdemeanour;
    2. Protecting public health and safety;
    3. Preventing the public from being misled by some statement or action of an individual or organisation;
    4. Exposing misuse of public funds or other forms of corruption by public bodies;
    5. Revealing potential conflicts of interest by those in positions of power and influence;
    6. Exposing corporate greed;
    7. Exposing hypocritical behaviour by those holding high office.
  2. There is a public interest in the freedom of expression itself.
  3. In cases involving children, journalists must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interests of the child.

NUJ (2002) Definition of the public interest. Circular 55 to all branch secretaries from NUJ Ethics Council, February. London: National Union of Journalists.