Friday, December 19, 2008

Caroline Kennedy, the Author

Prior to her interest in the U.S. Senate seat, Caroline Kennedy has shied away from the public spotlight throughout most of her life – an issue that has been raised by critics of her possible appointment to the seat. We don’t know how all this eventually will play out, but I do know that Caroline Kennedy is the author of a fascinating book on the issue of privacy, which I cited in a study I conducted in 2006 on news coverage of the private lives of public figures. Included in my report was this passage from The Right to Privacy, the book Kennedy co-authored with Ellen Alderman:

Privacy covers many things.It protects the solitude necessary for creative thought. It allows us the independence that is part of raising a family. It protects our right to be secure in our own homes and possessions, assured that the government cannot come barging in. Privacy also encompasses our right to self-determination and who we are. Although we live in a world of self-confession, privacy allows us to keep certain facts to ourselves if we choose. The right to privacy, it seems, is what makes us civilized.

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