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Libel refers to specific facts that can be proved untrue. A true statement that damages someone’s reputation is not libel. (Although it might be invasion of privacy.) Libel laws are meant to monetarily compensate people for damage to their reputations– not to punish people who make false statements. Dec 19, · Libel is a legal term that refers to the making of false and malicious statements about a person in some type of print or writing. This can include false and malicious statements made in writing, printed on signs, or published on a public forum. Publishing defamatory statements or pictures through the media is also considered libel.
As a reporter, it's crucial to understand the basics of libel and libel law. Generally speaking, the United States has the freest press in the world, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to what to eat for better vision U.
Rumor, innuendo, and gossip are things hard-news reporters generally avoid as opposed to reporters on the celebrity beat. Most importantly, reporters do not have the right to libel the people they write about. In other words, with great freedom comes great responsibility. Libel law is where the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment meet the requirements of responsible journalism.
Libel is published defamation of character, as opposed to spoken defamation of character, which is slander. Examples might include accusing someone of having committed a heinous crime, or of having a disease that might cause them to be shunned.
Two other important points:. There are several common defenses a reporter has against a libel lawsuit:. In order to win a libel lawsuit, private individuals need only prove that an article about them was libelous and that it was published.
But public officials — people who work in government at the local, state or federal level — have a tougher time winning libel lawsuits than private individuals. Actual malice means that:. This interpretation of libel law comes from the U. Supreme Court ruling Times vs. In Times vs. Sullivan, the court said that making it too easy for government officials to win libel suits would have a chilling effect on the press and its ability to aggressively report on the important issues of the day.
Since Times vs. For journalists, the best way to avoid a libel suit is to do responsible reporting. Most libel lawsuits are the result of careless reporting. Share Flipboard Email. Tony Rogers. Journalism Expert. Tony Rogers has an M. He has written and taught journalism for over 25 years. Cite this Article Format. Rogers, Tony. What Is Sedition? Definition and Examples. Definitions of Defamation of Character, Libel, and Slander.
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The Basics of Libel Law
Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who . Jul 03, · Libel is published defamation of character, as opposed to spoken defamation of character, which is slander. Libel: Exposes a person to hatred, shame, disgrace, contempt or ridicule. Injures a person’s reputation or causes the person to be shunned or avoided. Injures the person in his or her occupation. Examples might include accusing someone of having committed a heinous crime, or . b (1): a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt. (2): defamation of a person by written or representational means. (3): the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures. (4): the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'libel. Send us feedback. Middle English, written declaration, from Anglo-French, from Latin libellus , diminutive of liber book. See more words from the same century. Some of the words that defined the week of September 20, Accessed 25 Apr. English Language Learners Definition of libel Entry 2 of 2.
See the full definition for libel in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Note: Although libel is defined under state case law or statute, the U.
Supreme Court has enumerated some First Amendment protections that apply to matters of public concern. In New York Times Co. The Court has also held that the states cannot allow a private person to recover damages for libel against a media defendant without a showing of fault as negligence on the defendant's part.
These protections do not apply to matters that are not of public concern as an individual's credit report and that are not published by a member of the mass media. A libel plaintiff must generally establish that the alleged libel refers to him or her specifically, that it was published to others, and that some injury as to reputation occurred that gives him or her a right to recover damages as actual, general, presumed, or special damages.
The defendant may plead and establish the truth of the statements as a defense. Criminal libel may have additional elements, as in tending to provoke a breach of peace or in blackening the memory of someone who is dead, and may not have to be published to someone other than the person libeled.
Anglo-French, from Latin libellus , diminutive of liber book. Nglish: Translation of libel for Spanish Speakers. Britannica English: Translation of libel for Arabic Speakers. What made you want to look up libel? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
You've waited days, weeks, months, even years for What's the difference? Two words of uncertainty. We're intent on clearing it up. We're gonna stop you right there. How to use a word that literally drives some pe The awkward case of 'his or her'. Can you correctly identify these flowers? Which of these things doesn't belong? Test your vocabulary with our question quiz! Login or Register. Save Word. Definition of libel Entry 1 of 2. Definition of libel Entry 2 of 2. Keep scrolling for more. Synonyms for libel Synonyms: Noun aspersing , blackening , calumniation , calumny , character assassination , defamation , defaming , libeling or libelling , maligning , slander , smearing , traducing , vilification , vilifying Synonyms: Verb asperse , blacken , calumniate , defame , malign , slander , smear , traduce , vilify Visit the Thesaurus for More.
Examples of libel in a Sentence Noun To meet the Supreme Court's definition of libel involving a public figure, a quotation must not only be made up or materially altered. It must also defame the person quoted, and damage his or her reputation or livelihood … — Jane Gross , New York Times , 5 June It is relevant to note that in the suit against Ms.
Malcolm was dismissed … in a narrow ruling that stated that even if the quotations were "false and mischievous," Ms. Malcolm's alterations did not represent malicious intent and therefore did not constitute libel. Publish it at your peril … — Bernard Shaw , letter , 16 Sept.
The newspaper was found guilty of libel. The newspaper's attorneys argued that the article was not a libel. Verb And in Oklahoma last year, lawyers filed a class-action suit against a group supporting tort reform, saying they had libeled trial lawyers.
Levy , Emergence of a Free Press , The jury found that the article libeled him. Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The year was , the charge was libel , and Zenger spent many months in jail, awaiting trial. First Known Use of libel Noun 14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a Verb , in the meaning defined at intransitive sense. Learn More about libel.
Time Traveler for libel The first known use of libel was in the 14th century See more words from the same century. From the Editors at Merriam-Webster.
The Difference Between 'Libel' and Style: MLA. More Definitions for libel. English Language Learners Definition of libel Entry 1 of 2. Kids Definition of libel Entry 1 of 2.
Kids Definition of libel Entry 2 of 2. Other Words from libel libeler or libeller noun. Legal Definition of libel Entry 1 of 2. Sullivan — compare defamation , slander Note: Although libel is defined under state case law or statute, the U. Legal Definition of libel Entry 2 of 2. Sullivan , U. Comments on libel What made you want to look up libel? Show Comments Hide Comments.
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