‘Privacy and free speech’ considers the difficulty of balancing the protection of private life with the freedom of expression. It examines the issue of public interest and looks at some of the high-profile disputes between public figures and the media. Is there any validity to the argument that those who adopt a public life forfeit a private life? The behaviour of an individual who holds public office may be of legitimate interest to the community if it affects their ability to perform their role. The chief purpose of the US First Amendment is explained, as are the links between democracy and the freedom of the press.