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Mass Media Law

Exam 2 Chapters 4 Study Guide

QuestionAnswer
defamation is what type of wrong? civil
what is a tort? civil wrong
most common problem faced by those in mass media libel
libel any publication or broadcast that: 1. hurts ones reputation/2. lowers persons esteem in community
who faces the majority of libel suits? the mass media
reasons libel suits are worst for the media: 1.lots of time and money/2.otrageous claims sought and won/3.libel law puzzle/4.some plaintiffs use a tool to quiet those n press
SLAPP Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation
2 tests for SLAPP 1.was defendant using free speech rights to comment on public issue?/2.has plaintiff brought enough evidence to show he/she has probability of winning?
solution for libel issues retraction laws
2 types of defamation 1.libel / 2.slander
libel written defamation
slander oral defamation
3 elements of libel 1. defamation damages reputation of person, not character/2. words must actually damage reputation(proof necessary)/3. significant, representative minority of community must believe plaintiffs reputation has been harmed
survival statutes state statutes that allow a dead one's relatives to continue pursuing a lawsuit after his/her's death
in a libel case who has burden of proof? plaintiff
to win libel suit plaintiff must have 5 elements present. What are they? 1. publication/ 2.identification/ 3. defamation/ 4. falsity/ 5. fault
publication proof libel was published. in other words, another person besides the source and subject of libel have seen the defamatory material
scienter guilty knowledge (defendant knows printed matter contained defamation)
identification plaintiff must show court defamatory statement is concerning him/her
ways identification can occur: 1. plaintiff may be explicitly named / 2. plaintiff can be described
if a libelous statement does not make an explicit identification what should the plaintiff do? somehow prove that the defamatory words referred to him/her
can groups sue for identification? yes, if they are a small group it is easier to prove libel. it also depends on the circumstances
defamation plaintiff must prove the words were defamatory
2 kinds of defamatory words 1. "libel per se" / 2. "libel per quod"
libel per quod words innocent at face value, but become defamatory if viewers/readers know other facts
libel per se words that are clearly defamatory (ex: thief, liar, cheat)
single mistake rule a rule that says it is not libelous to accuse a professional person or businessperson of making a single mistake because that is not enough to lower person's reputation or esteem in the community
trade libel also called "disparagement of property"; focuses on the product itself
to win trade libel suit 3 things must be proven: 1. statements made about the product are false /2. monetary loss because of false comments about the product /3. false comment about product were motivated by actual malice (ill will or bad feelings)
specific types of companies protected by statutes banks, insurance companies, farmers (vegetables)
falsity proving the defamatory material was false
first rule of proving falsity or truth evidence presented must be direct and explicit
defamation by implication if a story contains nothing but truthful statements yet leaves important facts out it can still be considered false
fault proving the defendant was at fault
Created by: bjes61