Mass Comm Law Exam 2: Defamation

By braggkv
  • Beauharnais v Illinois

    USSC ruled that defamation directed at ethnic & racial groups CAN be illegal even when it is not directed at a specific individual.
  • Neiman-Marcus Co. v Lait

    A court ruled identification can occur when defamation is aimed at a small group
  • Farmers Education and Cooperative Union v WDAY

    USSC declared that broadcasters are immune from liability or defamation by political candidates in political ads
  • Cosgrove Studio & Camera v Pane

    Identification can occur even when the person/business is not specifically named in the defamatory statement
  • *Garrison v Louisiana

    Declared criminal libel unconstitutional
    USSC: state governments cannot censor critics of gov't without due process, and that the role of the citizen critic of gov't must be protected by the First Amendment
  • *New York Times v Sullivan

    established the New York Times standard
    USSC declared that public officials may recover for defamation upon proof of actual malice (AM) or reckless disregard for the truth (RDT)
  • Rosenblatt v Baer

    USSC ruled that the "public official" criteria was designated to include those in the hierarchy of gov't employees who have substantial responsibility for the conduct of gov't affairs
  • Walker v A.P.

    USSC declared courts will seek to determine whether a journalist had, or should have had serious doubts about the truth of defamatory statements
    Elements of time to check and verify sources is very important in this case
  • Curtis Publishing Co. v Butts

    USSC declared that they will examine the credibility of sources, believability of the defamatory allegations and the effort made to investigate the statements in question. The media had plenty of time to verify the facts of this story, but didn't.
  • Goldwater v Ginzburg

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that creating false statements to support one's predetermined view is evidence of actual malice
  • Cohen v New York Herald Tribune

    NY Court ruled that "mere exaggeration, irony, or wit" does not make an article defamatory.
  • Greenbelt Cooperative Pub. Assn. v Bresler

    USSC stated that the use of words such as "blackmail," when used in a public forum was determined to be non-actionable.
  • Rosenbloom v Metromedia

    USSC ruled that the burden of proof imposed on public officials extends to anyone involved in a matter of public concern, regardless of whether they are famous or unknown
  • Ocala Star-Banner Co. v Damron

    USSC decided that no matter how remote in time or place, a charge of criminal conduct against a public official is, it is ALWAYS relevant to his/her fitness for office.
  • Gertz v Welch

    USSC defined a public figure as one who thrusts oneself into the public arena involuntarily or assumes a role voluntarily in which publication is expected or assumed. States may define level of proof for a private person.
  • Time v Firestone

    USSC ruled that Mrs. Firestone did not assume any role of special prominence in the affairs of society
  • Herbert v Lando

    USSC ruled that a journalist's mind may be probed in a libel case in order to establish actual malice
  • Wolston v Reader's Digest Assn

    USSC said that Wolston did not thrust himself into the forefront of the controversy, but was "dragged unwillingly" into the spotlight
  • Gazette v Harris

    VA State Supreme Court declared that negligence is the legal standard of proof for private individuals in VA
  • Dun and Bradstreet v Greenmoss Builders

    USSC held that credit reports are a private matter and not a matter of "public concern"
  • *Philadelphia Newspapers v Hepps

    Overturned laws in 8 states
    USSC stated that private individuals seeking damages on matters of private concern have the burden of proving that offending statements are false
  • Harte-Hanks Communication v Connaughton

    USSC ruled that this newspaper made a "deliberate decision not to acquire knowledge" that would have revealed the falsity of charges against Connaughton
  • Milkovich v Lorain Journal

    USSC held that fact-based opinions in editorials do not enjoy special protection under the First Amendment
  • Masson v New Yorker

    USSC ruled that minor changes in quotations failed to constitute defamation; plaintiff has a burden to show that the altered words substantially damages his/her reputation