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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is libel?
a defamation by written words or by communication in some other tangible form

* punishment is more because it is more permanent and more people can see it
What is slander?
defamation by spoken words or gestures
What are the elements of a libel suit?
1- defamation
2- identification
3- publication
4- falsity
5- injury
6 - fault
What is defamation?
injury to repuation - lowers person's in the estimation of the communitiy or deterring 3rd persons from associating or doing business w/ that person.

How to know if it is defamatory:
1 - requires a judge to determine that the statement is capable of defamatory in meaning
2- jury decides whether a substantial and respectable segmentn of the public actually understood the statement as defaming
What is identification?
requires proving that reasonable readers, listeners, or viewers would have understood that the statement was about the plaintiff.
What is publication?
when the statement has appeared in a newspaper or on a television broadcast. Ultimately, the statment just needs to be made to someone other than the person defamed.

The plaintiff must file a lawsuit w/in the time specified by the state.

For the internet, it starts from the day of the initial publication
What is falsity?
Must prove that statement is false

Means some defamed persons may not be able to recover damages, but making defendants prove truth means some truthful publications will be punished.
What is injury?
injury to reputation, monetary loss, emotional suffering.

actual injuries include evidence of damage to reputation, humiliation, and mental anguish.

What is fault?
*most crucial*
refers to the state of mind of the person responsible for the allegedly defamatory statement: was the statement made intentionally, recklessly, or negligently?

level of fault:
depends on if the plaintiff is a public official or figure, or a private individual

public- must prove statement was published w/ the knowledge it was false or w/ reckless disregard for whether it was false- "actual malice"
What is actual malice?
when the defendent:
- knew facts would call story into question
- refused to examine evidence that would prove or disprove a charge
- relied on an inherently unbeleveable source
- simply fabricated the story
The supreme court in the gertz decision identified 3 types of public figures - what are they?
- involuntary
- general purpose
- limited purpose
What is a general-purpose figure?
They have persuasive power and influence as to be a public figure for all occasions- celebrities
What is a limited purpose figure?
largest category of public figures - consists of those who hold that status for the limited purpose of commenting on some particular topic or issue. These people have thrust themselves to the forefront of a controversy in order to affect its resolution.
What are the defenses for media organizations in libel cases?
- truth
- fair-report privilege
- fair comment & criticism
What is truth?
Proof that the gist of the charge is true.
What is the fair-report privilege?
a privilege that news reports have in which they are allowed to report on governmental proceedings
What is the fair-comment and criticism?
Protects from libel suits expressions of opinion about matters of legitimate public interest. Ony if the opinions are based on true facts
What are retraction statutes?
Limit damages or prevent libel suites in cases where a full, prompt, and prominent retratction has been published
What are agricultural product-disparagement laws?
"veggie libel laws" laws creating a right on the part of producers of agricultural products to sue when products are disparaged.
what are the 4 kinds of invastion of privacy?
- intruding a person's seclusion or solitude
- giving publicity to private facts
- placing a person in a false light
- appropriating a person's name or likeness for one's own benefit.
What is intrusion?
a person intentionally intruding on the solitude or seclusion of another in a manner that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person
What is publicly giving private facts?
-publicity has been given to a private matter
- the matter publicized would be highly offensive to a reasonable person
- there is no legitimate interest in the information
What is false-light invasion of privacy?
protects a person's interest in being let alonse- suit requires that publicity place a person in a false lght and that it is highly offensive to a reasonable person
What is appropriation?
anyone who uses the name or likeness of another for his or her own use or benefit - most common is the use of a person's name/likeness for commercial purposes
What is the Freedom of Information Act?
opens to public inspection all records held by agencies of the federal executive branch. It exempts from disclosure:
- classified information
- information related solely to internal personnel rules and practices
- information exempted by other statutes
- trade secrets and confidential commercial information
- interagency and intra-agency memoranda that would reveal decision-making processes
- information that would be clearly unwarranted invation of personal privacy
- law enforcement investigatie files
- information about financial institutions
- geological and geophysical information
What are the 3 newsgathering issues?
- access to nonjuicial proceedings and records
- access to judicial proceedings
- confidentiality for sources and information
What are the 3 newsgathering issues?
- access to nonjuicial proceedings and records
- access to judicial proceedings
- confidentiality for sources and information