Watercooler talk off the record

By: EDITORIAL STAFF

Watercooler talk off the record
The news media can be sued for infiltrating an office and secretly recording an employee because the worker has the right to expect that private conversations with coworkers won’t be taped, a court ruled.
The California state Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision to overturn a $1.2 million damage award to a psychic hotline employee, the AP reports. An ABC News reporter posing as a co-worker taped conversations with the hotline employee. Part of the tapes were broadcast nationally on “Prime Time Live.”
A secret recording may be defensible if the news organization can show it’s necessary for news coverage and if the workplace is open to the public, the Supreme Court opinion says.
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?(copyright: Editor & Publisher June 26, 1999) [Caption]

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