Short Items & Updates
Disclosure of the fact that a juvenile was wounded during a shooting would intrude upon her privacy, and the Lexington, Ky. Police acted properly in redacting her name and her mother’s name from an incident report disclosed to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Kentucky Attorney General found in late May.
The state’s lawyer found that “an assault charge is closely akin to sodomy and sexual abuse, and the juvenile victim of such a crime has a cognizable privacy interest in nondisclosure of her identity.” While acknowledging a public interest in disclosure and rejecting a policy of “blanket nondisclosure” of juvenile victims of crimes, the Attorney General found that the privacy interests outweighed the public interest under the circumstances.
(Op. of Ky. Atty. Gen. No. 96-ORD-115).
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Prompted by Seagram’s decision to advertise Crown Royal whiskey on television, Rep. Joseph Kennedy II (D-Mass.) in mid-June proposed a ban on all radio and television advertising for hard liquor.
Seagram’s decision to air commercials on one NBC station in Corpus Christi, Texas, part of the company’s advertising strategy to “creep” onto local and cable stations, is a break from a 48-year voluntary ban on television advertising by members of the Distilled Spirits Council. Kennedy’s bill would essentially codify the industry’s self-imposed ban.
Earlier this spring, Kennedy introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of animal characters in prime-time advertisements for alcoholic beverages, supposedly designed to prevent under-age drinking. (H.R. 3644)
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In mid-June, the New Jersey Senate’s State Government Committee approved a bill holding newspapers responsible for unwanted papers delivered to the doorsteps of people who ordered delivery stopped. The bill will now go to the full Senate.
The bill would give newspapers 14 days to stop delivery of a paper after receiving written notice that the paper is not wanted. Newspaper employees could be charged with littering, an offense punishable in municipal court with a $100 fine and 40 hours of community service.
Sen. Joseph Bubba (R-Passaic), chairman of the committee and sponsor of the bill, introduced a similar bill last year that passed the same committee but was defeated in the Senate.
The New Jersey Press Association objected to the bill, arguing that it is unclear who could complain under the law — property owners, landlords, tenants, condominium associations, or others. Also, many newspapers use private contractors to deliver papers who are not actual employees of the newspaper, they said.