DEFAMATION OF The Law and How It Has CHARACTER ProgressedBy Danielle TurnerDecember 3, 2012
THE FIRST AMENDMENT “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances .”
WHAT IS DEFAMATION? Defamatory speech is defined as “untrue declarations about private citizens that might damage their reputations” (Straubhaar, 447). Libel is defamatory speech that is written. Slander is defamatory speech that is spoken. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tg8FnWO -Ck
Defamation is extremely HOW TO PROVE hard to prove in court. DEFAMATION OF The following link CHARACTER explains why.http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=Xpzybcswpxw
DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER IS ILLEGAL, BUTHOW HAS IT BEEN DETERMINED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS? New York Times v. Sullivan AP v. Walker and Curtis In the year 1960, the civil rights Publishing v. Butts groups ran an ad in the New York Times that contained errors in These two cases presented in reporting the abuse that had been 1967, extended the Sullivan ruling inflicted upon protestors in the on “actual malice” to cover well - South. “The ad made Southern known public figures, not just authorities look violent and criminal governmental public official – so L.B. Sullivan, police (Harrower, 145). commissioner in Montgomery, Ala., Walker sued The Associated Press sued the Times for libel” (Harrower, for a story that claimed he 145). encouraged a riot. But, since the Sullivan lost his case because the story was written under deadline Supreme Court ruled that “debate on pressure, the court ruled that the public issues should be uninhibited, errors the article had were robust and wide open. inadvertent (Harrower, 145). Basically, if your going to be in politics or in the public view, you Butts filed a libel suit after The ought to be tough enough to handle Saturday Evening Post alleged he‟d criticism no matter how mean or fixed a game. Since the untrue it is. “sloppy reporting had ignored warning of inaccuracy,” the court ruled that this was actual malice (Harrower, 145).
ACTUAL MALICE? Malice as defined Malice as definedby dictionary.com… by media law… According to According to media law dictionary.com, malice and ethics, actual malice is “ill will, spite, is knowing that what one spitefulness; animosity, is printing is false and blatantly disregarding the enmity; malevolence; truth and, therefore, venom, hate, hatred; meaning actual harm to bitterness, rancor.” the person or group the defamatory speech is about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40OaEWVNOjg Please follow link to hear a short song on actual malice!
COURT CASES CONTINUED… Gertz v. Welch Hutchinson v. Proxmire This Supreme Court decision “ Sen. William Proxmire used made it so that private citizens to hand out „Golden Fleece do not have to prove actual malice. They need only to prove Awards‟ to agencies guilty of negligence. wasting tax dollars. In 1975, “In 1973, attorney Elmer Gertz he gave an award to Ronald sued Robert Welch‟s Hutchinson, a monkey conservative magazine for libel researcher at a hospital.” after it called Gertz a “Hutchinson sued Proxmire „Communist‟ for representing for libel and won. The Court clients who sued the police. The ruled that Hutchinson was not Court ruled that Gertz‟s rights had been violated because, a public figure and his though well known, he was still a research was not a matter of private citizen, not a public public controversy. figure” (Harrower, 145). http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=aHzAYVkbxzs
http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=-QYLHQ5qydo Po lit ic al C o r re c t nes s h a s i n fringed u p o nFollow the link above to see the rights of Fr e edo m o f S p e e c h i n m a ny the video on a boy who got p l a c es s u c h a s s c h o o ls a l l in serious trouble for a c ro s s t h e U S A . making a stand against homosexuality at his public high school.
WORKS CITED http://dictionary.reference.com / Harrower, Tim. Inside Repor ting: A Practical Guide to the Craf t of Journalism. 3rd edition. New York City: McGraw Hill Company , 2010. Print . Straubhaar, Joseph, Robert LaRose, and Lucinda Davenport. Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology . 7th edition. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print. All videos are courtesy of www.youtube.com