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TTU / JOUR - Journalism / JOU 3320 / What is needed to prove libel?

What is needed to prove libel?

What is needed to prove libel?


E x a m   2   s t u d y   g u i d e :   L i b e l   &   P r i v a c y

What is needed to prove libel?

THE CASES: Cases for which you will be held responsible are all those on your syllabus for Unit 2  (2­4 questions each) plus cases discussed in class and listed on the Unit 2 case list (1­2 questions  each if not on syllabus).

Please consult the "How to Study Cases" document. For each case, know the basic facts of the  case, the issues at hand, the decision in the matter, what precedent(s) the case set, and how the  case relates to other cases on similar issues. Where dissenting opinion is significant, you should  have some idea what that dissent was all about.

∙ Sullivan

∙ Walker

∙ Gertz

∙ Milkovich

∙ Time v. Hill

What does libel mean in law?

∙ Firestone

∙ Cher

∙ Galella

∙ Hustler v. Falwell

Helpful materials may be found at the class Web site including material under “General resources”  and under Unit 2. One document in the class Web site that will be especially helpful in studying for  this exam is the New York Times v. Sullivan video embedded in the "Libel Cases" document. We also discuss several other topics like How big are the particles in a suspension?

Use materials (flashcards, quiz, study materials etc.) on the textbook Web site to bolster your  understanding. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the probability of survival to age 70 for hunter­gatherers?

YOUR NOTES: All material covered during lecture will be fair game for the exam.

ASSIGNED READING: All material in the assigned reading (much of which involves cases we  discussed in class and their importance in developing the body of mass communications law).  Among your reading, you should be especially sensitive to these terms and concepts:

Can you sue for abuse of process?

Note: Some of these terms may be listed under other terms, like “publishing.” Some terms may be in notes and not in the book (check index AND glossary) and vice versa.

Libel & Privacy terminology

absolute privilege abuse of process actual malice


bootstrapping chilling effect We also discuss several other topics like What forms ribosomes by binding with proteins?

New York Times Rule

private figure

public figure (different classes of) public official (vs. public figure) publication

damages: actual, special, presumed, and  punitive


disclosure of private facts

dictum / dicta Don't forget about the age old question of What is an extreme phenotype is favored over other phenotypes?
We also discuss several other topics like What is the probability will be an exact number?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the tennis court oath?

false light

fair comment






libel per quod

libel per se

limited issue public figure

qualified privilege

reckless disregard for truth

rhetorical hyberbole

right of publicity

single publication / mistake rule (libel) slander

SLAPP lawsuits

statute of limitations

substantial truth


trade libel


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