Times v. Sullivan:     The sequelsA landmark libel decision leads to years of defining its reach
Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to  public figures in two 1967 cases  – Associated P...
Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to  public figures in two 1967 cases• All-purpose pu...
Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to  public figures in two 1967 cases• All-purpose pu...
Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971)  extended the actual malice standard to  private figur...
Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971)  extended the actual malice standard to  private figur...
Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971)  extended the actual malice standard to  private figur...
Actual malice and state of mind• In Herbert v. Lando, the Supreme Court  ruled that a libel plaintiff attempting to  show ...
Burden of proof• In Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. v. Hepps  (1986), the Court ruled that the plaintiff  must prove the offe...
What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989  in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton
What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989  in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoi...
What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989  in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoi...
What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989  in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoi...
Opinion versus facts• In Milkovichv. Lorain Journal Co. (1990), the  Court ruled that factual assertions could be  the sub...
Opinion versus facts• In Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co.  (1990), the Court ruled that factual  assertions could be the su...
Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense  – Journalist enjoys qualified privilege if she    accurately...
Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense  – Journalist enjoys qualified privilege if she    accurately...
Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense• “Wire service” defense  – News organization can’t be held li...
Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense• “Wire service” defense  – News organization can’t be held li...
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Times v. Sullivan: The sequels

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A landmark libel decision leads to years of defining its reach.

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Times v. Sullivan: The sequels

  1. 1. Times v. Sullivan: The sequelsA landmark libel decision leads to years of defining its reach
  2. 2. Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to public figures in two 1967 cases – Associated Press v. Walker – Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts
  3. 3. Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to public figures in two 1967 cases• All-purpose public figures are A-list celebrities
  4. 4. Actual malice and public figures• Times v. Sullivan standard extended to public figures in two 1967 cases• All-purpose public figures are A-list celebrities• Limited-purpose public figures have thrust themselves into the spotlight on a particular issue
  5. 5. Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971) extended the actual malice standard to private figures in public controversies
  6. 6. Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971) extended the actual malice standard to private figures in public controversies• The Supreme Court stepped back in Gertzv. Robert Welch (1974)
  7. 7. Private figures and negligence• Rosenbloomv. Metromedia Inc. (1971) extended the actual malice standard to private figures in public controversies• The Supreme Court stepped back in Gertzv. Robert Welch (1974)• Private figures need not show actual malice, but they must at least show negligence — the end of no-fault libel
  8. 8. Actual malice and state of mind• In Herbert v. Lando, the Supreme Court ruled that a libel plaintiff attempting to show actual malice may inquire into a news organization’s “metal process”
  9. 9. Burden of proof• In Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. v. Hepps (1986), the Court ruled that the plaintiff must prove the offending report is false
  10. 10. What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989 in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton
  11. 11. What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989 in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoided sources that would cast doubt on its story
  12. 12. What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989 in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoided sources that would cast doubt on its story• Journalists must have “entertained serious doubt” as to truth of story
  13. 13. What is “reckless disregard”?• Supreme Court set a high standard in 1989 in Harte-Hanks v. Connaughton• Journal News avoided sources that would cast doubt on its story• Journalists must have “entertained serious doubt” as to truth of story• Story was technically accurate
  14. 14. Opinion versus facts• In Milkovichv. Lorain Journal Co. (1990), the Court ruled that factual assertions could be the subject of a libel suit even if they were labeled “opinion”
  15. 15. Opinion versus facts• In Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co. (1990), the Court ruled that factual assertions could be the subject of a libel suit even if they were labeled “opinion”• Pure opinion, in the form of the “fair comment” privilege, remains in effect
  16. 16. Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense – Journalist enjoys qualified privilege if she accurately and fairly reports official proceedings
  17. 17. Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense – Journalist enjoys qualified privilege if she accurately and fairly reports official proceedings – Privilege ends on the steps of the courthouse or City Hall
  18. 18. Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense• “Wire service” defense – News organization can’t be held liable for running a libelous story from a reputable wire service
  19. 19. Two libel defenses• “Fair report” or “public record” defense• “Wire service” defense – News organization can’t be held liable for running a libelous story from a reputable wire service – Privilege ends if it can be shown that the news organization harbored doubts

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