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Mass Media Law

Exam 2 Chapters 5 Study Guide

QuestionAnswer
strict liability doctrine that said a libel defendant was responsible for harming the plaintiff regardless of how cautious/careful he/she was in preparing/publishing/broadcasting the story
1964 year Supreme Court ruled that a libel plaintiff (public officials) had to show the defendant was at fault when the defamatory material was published
public official in a libel suit, someone who is either elected or appointed or who seems to have considerable responsibility for or control over the conduct of governmental affairs
New York Times v. Sullivan case back in 1960 where new york times carried an ad that supported M.L.K efforts. during this course they printed the ad and it contained a lot of truth about how officials in the south treated peaceful protesting violently.
New York Times v. Sullivan con't...1 police commissioner of Alabama brought suit and said comments were false and defamatory.trial court agreed with sullivan, but supreme court reversed decision and said sullivan could not win unless he could prove new york times published the statements
New York Times v. Sullivan con't...2 knowing they were false or that they exhibited reckless disregard for the truth (two elements of actual malice)
actual malice 2 elements needed: 1. knowledge of falsity 2. reckless disregard for the truth
knowledge of falsity plaintiff must prove the defendant knew the defamatory material was false and yet printed it anyway
reckless disregard for the truth plaintiff must prove the defendant(s) had been extremely careless by not examining charges made in the statement more carefully
reasoning for decision in New York v. Sullivan case 1. this case really had to do with seditious libel 2. in America citizens are encouraged to take part in debates on public issues 3. when people like Sullivan take a gov't job they should expect that the public will watch and criticize them closely
is everyone who works for the government considered a public official? no
2 questions asked when deciding in one is a public official job description? nature of the story?
when public official is plaintiff and wants to sue for libel must prove 2 things as burden of proof 1. if defendant attacks the manner in which the plaintiff conducts him/herself in office (how they do their job) 2. if defendant attacks the plaintiff's general fitness to hold that job
2 types of public figures 1.all-purpose public figure 2.limited-purpose public figure
all-purpose public figure those who occupy positions of such pervasive power and influence that they are deemed public figures for all purposes
Gertz v. Welch case where Justice Lewis Powell established the 2 types of public persons (all-purpose/limited-purpose)
Steere v. Cupp case where Kansas Supreme Court ruled one who is libeled against in a community where he/she is well-known and is very active and owns many things, could be considered a total/all-purpose public figure
limited-purpose public figure those classed as public figures who have thrust themselves to the forefront of public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved
3 elements that form a limited-purpose public figure 1. a public controversy must exist before the publication of the libelous matter. 2. plaintiff must have voluntarily participated (press cannot start then pull in) 3. plaintiff must have role in influencing public opinion in the matter. cant take 2nd role
what is one of the most subjective decision courts must make when applying the law of libel deciding who is and who is not a limited-purpose public figure
public controversy a dispute that in fact has received public attention because its ramifications will be felt by persons who are not direct participants
can businesses be considered public figures in a libel suit? yes
negligence failure to exercise reasonable care
actual malice knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth
what does IIED stand for? Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
the definition of IIED has 4 parts 1.defendants conduct was intentional/reckless 2.defendants conduct was extreme/outrageous 3.defendants conduct caused plaintiff emotional distress 4.the emotional distress was severe
for public figure/official to win emotional distress claim they must prove: 1.the satire amounted to statement of fact, not opinion 2.that it was a false statement of fact 3.that the person who wrote the cartoon knew it was false or demonstrated actual malice (w/ 2 elements present)
Created by: bjes61