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Old 05-18-2009, 01:35 AM
 
Location: England
3,243 posts, read 3,019,631 times
Reputation: 3181

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I had a conversation with an american friend recently, about his companies
decision not to pursue a defamation case against a newspaper.

He said that although his company could prove beyond a doubt that the newspaper story was false, they would have to prove that malice was intended under the "Actual Malice" standard to win.

The companies lawyer said that under these standards defamation was extremely difficult to prove, so the case never went ahead.

Does anyone believe that having to prove malice makes it easier for the media to print what they like without fear of reprisals?
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:37 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,402,860 times
Reputation: 47449
defamation is difficult. as a whole false accusations go unpunished in our society, very true in EEOC law. EEOC false accusations are devestating to career, of course those that make them know this.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:32 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,907,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albion View Post
I had a conversation with an american friend recently, about his companies
decision not to pursue a defamation case against a newspaper.

He said that although his company could prove beyond a doubt that the newspaper story was false, they would have to prove that malice was intended under the "Actual Malice" standard to win.

The companies lawyer said that under these standards defamation was extremely difficult to prove, so the case never went ahead.

Does anyone believe that having to prove malice makes it easier for the media to print what they like without fear of reprisals?

I do.

But if we make it too easy to sue for defamation or libel there'd be hundrends of thousands of lawsuits continuously.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Defamation is difficult to prove to begin with, and especially so when it comes to newspapers; here, the plaintiff's burden of proof is particularly heavy. As a practical matter, this means that newspapers can print pretty much anything they want. It's not a perfect rule, but it's better than the alternative -- litigants (especially the rich and powerful) using the legal process to put a real damper on free speech.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,084,905 times
Reputation: 948
There's a higher law -- Never pick a fight with a company that buys ink by the barrel.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,164 posts, read 16,515,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlchurch View Post
There's a higher law -- Never pick a fight with a company that buys ink by the barrel.
As one who used to buy ink by the barrel, I like that law.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
Investigative journalism is about the only socially relevant part of newspapers. Editorials and editorial writers are a dime a dozen and have little effect anymore, now that most readers are polarized to one political party or another. As much as newspaper reporters are a PITA, and as much as they sometimes lie, they do serve an important purpose in exposing entrenched companies and individuals that government is unwilling to take on.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: England
3,243 posts, read 3,019,631 times
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Can first amendment rights harm a defendents right to a fair trial.
I mean Drew Peterson & Casey Anthony have all but been convicted by the media.
Where on earth could you find a jury that has not watched, or read negative stories about these two people.
I understand that the hearsay law in Illinois has been amended so that Peterson could charged.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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The editorial function of a newspaper is to decide which revelations to publish with large headlines above the fold, and which to ignore and not mention at all.. It's pretty hard to publish flat out lies and get away with it anymore. So if something happens that does not buttress your editorial policy, like Bush gets caught lying again, just don't publish it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
Quote:
Originally Posted by albion View Post
Can first amendment rights harm a defendents right to a fair trial.
I mean Drew Peterson & Casey Anthony have all but been convicted by the media.
Where on earth could you find a jury that has not watched, or read negative stories about these two people.
I understand that the hearsay law in Illinois has been amended so that Peterson could charged.
I haven't paid any attention to either. I read and watch a lot of news, but I'm selective. When I hear the word "Drew" I think of Drew Carey. I think Casey Anthony is the woman in FL, but I'm not sure. The only reason I have any knowledge is because I had to do a raod trip in December and used satellite radio to stay awake driving.
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