Sunday, 13 December 2009

Media Law (3) - notes

  • People consider their reputation when attacking someone for defamation.
  • The person does not have to prove they have been defamed; the person being accused of publishing a defaming statement has to prove it is not.
  • Dr Joe Rahamim is an example when it was accused he was not good at his job by channel 4 news/ITN and was awarded one million pounds. They said he was probably responsible for the death or serious injury to many of his patients. Channel 4 also had to retract their statement.
  • The dead cannot be defamed.
  • A third party cannot sue on a defamed ones behalf.
  • Slander is different as it is not permanent, you may still be sued for it, however journalists rarely get sued for slander as anything they publish is often permanent.
  • Internet libel = bad! Becomes international.
  • Libel requires:
  1. exposing defamed to ridicule/contempt
  2. causes them to be shunned/avoided
  3. discredits them
  4. lowers them generally
  • Malice is lies, and for publishing a malicious statement not only will you be sued but could also face police prosecution.
  • Defences for defamation:
  1. Justification - If the information is true then cannot be defamatory.
  2. Fair comment - an opinion and not fact (often done in the way of a cartoon).
  3. Absolute and qualified privilege.

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