I'm working on a 1500 word assignment for Journalism. My topic is:
Discuss whether defamation laws and press freedom are compatible
Anyone have feedback or ideas on this to get me started?
If you are reporting "negative" facts which can be documented and backed up (especially with multiple sources)it cannot be defamation.
Freedom of the press is not license to publish anything that one hears or surmises. It requires integrity and careful consideration-- especially when dealing with stories that may harm someone's reputation or business.
Defamation laws are important to protect individuals and freedom of press is important to protect society.
Thanks for the feedback. I think I've gone with the side of "Defamation laws are compatible with press freedom" now to tell my teacher why. Eurgh I hate assignments. I'd rather write a 1500 word hub!
I know whacha mean.
I know a lot of sleazy tabloid publications would not necessarily agree with your premise-- but 'the press' can have no credibility if it doe not adhere to basic principles of integrity.
The more garbage that gets published in the guise of 'journalism', the more people will distrust any written news or commentary. "The Press" will have no value to be a societal watchdog if it loses total credibility.
Bit late in my opinion.
When we debated this they made me take the position against 'freedom' of speech in the media. It was a position remarkably easy to defend even though I didn't agree in my heart. Rochelles citing of 'sleazy tabloids' illustrates, I have the same opinion of the christian tabloids such as the catholic herald.
When we look at what is commonly in the media it cries out for something to be done; in my opinion the place to start would be to attack (or resist) the b@llsh@t and lies first. The focus should be on proveability where the proof must exist before words can be published, this would require fact, opinion and speculation to be publicly labelled I think ?
Two things I'd also mention - there is the idea of protecting your sources. (can't remember how it goes, but I believe you have the right to protect your sources, is it) But, just because your source (say an opposing congressman) says the congressman is an a$$hole does that mean you should report it? Even if there's supporting evidence? It's my opinion that the attitude should be reported, but not the word.
I guess my second goes with the first. I'm a firm believe of: You don't have to just because you can. So, just because, as a reporter, you have the right to report who Paris Hilton went to bed with last night, does that mean you have to? I mean, honestly, whose business is it anyway? Or, let's think about whether or not Brett Favre is ever going to retire. Should it be reported as factual (that he will retire, again, this year just because a source says it's true? Or, should the reporters go directly to Favre for the answers before running a story on his ever changing mind?
Just my thoughts......
here is a link for you
http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/lega … defamation
complete on-line articles on the exact subject
hope it helps
I just wrote an essay on this last week.
I took the opinion that it is not compatible because of things like the chilling effect, also, there is no risk to any claimant wishing to strike up a case against the journalist/editor because in this case the journalist is guilty until they can prove themselves innocent and don't forget 'no win no fee' the claimant wouldn't even lose money for trying. Also, many big companies are known to always take people to court and they are just too big to go up against.
If you need more, I would be happy to send you the lecture slides on it.
Wry- I see the problem that the press are only interested in readership so they press,press,press to the limit. So called stars court this for there own ends and publicity but every so often one of the stars shouts out defamation. Its a double edged sword and some people get what they deserve.
You could use the analogy that google likes fresh content to keep your hubs going, its just like the news really, except some journalists try "cramming" the headlines and when this happens the only recourse is to shout defamation.
Defamation laws can supress freedom of the press because many small media outlets can't afford the litigation, whether they win or lose. You aren't always awarded costs.
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