Date of Award

Fall 1987

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Scotton, James

Second Advisor

Baxter, Bill

Third Advisor

Rakow, Lana


Although many past court decisions have been adjudicated in favor of the press, the judiciary has so far been unwilling to deliver the definitive decision that will lead to clear, concise resolution of the conflict between the right to privacy v the right to know. The conflict is especially evident in cases involving crime victims, more specifically in rape cases. Thirteen crime victim/press cases are studied at various levels for this paper. All of the cases deal specifically with rape . The cases help to support the conclusion that both the press and crime victims should not risk that some day the courts will hand down a decision that will overwhelmingly favor one right over the other. Both concepts have a ' right to exist' in a democratic society . Therefore, each side has too much to lose to risk being on the losing side of the next precedent-setting decision. As a result, both sides must work harder towards resolving their conflicts together, before their differences force the courts to choose the ' winner'. Because we lack a clear, concise trend derived from court decisions on the issue of the press' right to publish versus the the rape victim's right to privacy, and because someday, precedent could be set that too strongly favors one right over the other, this conflict is best resolved by advocates on both sides continually working together to keep cases out of unpredictable courts.



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