Chilean lawmaker proposes ban on “harassment” in interviews

Every day dozens of celebrities worldwide are hounded by the press for scoops on things like alleged plastic surgeries, pregnancies, or their romantic lives. A member of Chile’s House of Deputies, inspired by recent press harassment faced by a former beauty queen, believes that journalists have gone too far and that their behavior needs to be reined in.

Deputy Gaspar Rivas’ proposed bill would modify the laws governing free speech and journalism to punish those who ask questions “in a impudent, invasive, or harassing manner,” broad language that has sparked criticism both from journalists and members of his own political party, La Tercera explains.

According to La Nación, a journalist found guilty of "harassing" an interviewee would receive between $83 and $250 in fines.

The president of Chile’s Guild of Journalism, Marcelo Castillo, said the bill is clearly “an attack on freedom of expression and information.”

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Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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