Public interest is a term used to denote political movements and organizations that are in the public interest—supporting general public and civic causes, in opposition of private and corporate ones (particularistic goals). The public interest can also mean more generally what is considered beneficial to the public.
It is often very difficult
- To specify exactly what is meant by the "public interest," especially since "special interests" themselves so often speak in favor of their goals using the language of the public interest.
- To foretell that a pet cause promoted by a given organization or movement would be beneficial to the public or would bring perverse effects instead.
The term is also used in journalism, usually to describe disclosures that would assist members of the public make more informed political or personal decisions.