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UGA - JOUR 3030 - Class Notes - Week 9

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UGA - JOUR 3030 - Class Notes - Week 9

School: University of Georgia
Department: Journalism Core
Course: Media, News and Consumers
Professor: John Soloski
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: libel, Law, journalism, Media, JOUR3030, whistle-blowers, anonymous, Sources, leakers, Government, FirstAmmendement, constitution, freedomofspeech, freedomofpress, and theories
Name: WEEK 9 Notes for JOUR 3030
Description: Nots covering libel laws, theories regarding freedom of speech, and definitions of different sources.
Uploaded: 11/04/2018
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background image WEEK 9 Notes for JOUR 3030   
 
★ Different Theories Regarding freedom of  speech     ● Why are there different theories?   ○ There are just different perspectives on what’s important when  considering the true definition of free speech… essentially free speech is 
one thing, but it can be interpreted in various ways depending on context 
and other influences  
 
Theory   Main Idea    Absolutist   - Subordinates all rights to speech (“no law”)   - This does not say that a fair trial is unimportant       Ad Hoc Balancing   - Freedom of speech  and other rights   are important   - Considers matters  ​case by case  - Focuses on facts of the case alone (all courts do this 
EXCEPT the Supreme Court which uses precedents)  
 
 
 
Meiklejohnian   - 2 types of speech exist: PUBLIC and PRIVATE  - This has nothing to do with location of where speech is 
being used, but has everything to do with whether or not 
the speech is pertaining to public issues  
- PUBLIC needs full protection ​, private doesn’t  - Problem: It can be very hard to distinguish between 
public and private 
 
 
 
 
Access  - People NEED access to the media, thus gov’t is 
responsible for ensuring people have access  
- This theory is why  ​REGULATION of BROADCASTING  exists   - TV networks can’t pick and choose which political 
advertisements to air (same with newspapers) → the 
same rates must apply to any candidate so nobody is 
stifled and everyone has a “fair” chance to be heard 
 
 
Preferred Positioning  Balancing   - Gov’t MUST prove speech or press should be lessen 
(gov’t always has to justify why a certain act of speech 
or press needs to be limited)  
- Ex: child porn, purgery   - Most often used by courts   - Puts heavy burden on gov’t  
background image ● What is  LIBEL LAW ?   ○ It’s a public, fixed form of defamation, or a civil wrong that falsey impugns  the reputation of someone to the public   ■ Don’t confuse with SLANDER, which is the same thing except it’s  uttered and not published   ○ Some history behind libel law:   ■ Between 1791 and 1964, the courts did not see the 1st  Amendment protecting media from libel suits   ■ Initially, to prove someone committed a libel crime three things  had to be proven:   ● 1. Information published = false  
● 2. Information = damaging to reputation  
● 3. Harm was caused to person “attacked”  
■ This all changed in 1964 in  NYT v. Sullivan  (during Civil Rights  Movement) → Basically,  ​Court ruled public officials had to meet  higher standards to win a libel suit ​. Now public officials have to  prove everything previously required as well as:   ● 4. The act was done with  actual malice   ■ New problem = what the heck is actual malice?   ● Well, it means the media either knowingly publishes false  information or  ● Publishes something with reckless disregard as to the truth   ■ The news media relies on the definition of actual malice to stay  protected from libel suits   ■ Eventually another big libel suit arose involving  UGA and the  Saturday Evening Post  → this isn’t the whole story but the main  points:   ● Someone overheard the current UGA football (Butts)  coach talking to the current Alabama coach over the phone   ● That someone claimed Butts was giving away plays for the  following game and reported it to a reporter for the 
Saturday Evening Post who then publishes a piece 
exposing Butts → obviously Butts fights this and claims it’s 
not true, sues for libel because his reputation as a coach = 
damaged → gets taken to Supreme Court  
● Court decides  ALL public figures, not just public  officials, have to prove actual malice as well ​​ → this  poses problems regarding how to prove whether or not a 
newspaper was reckless with information (even though 
Saturday Evening Post didn’t even edit the piece, the 
information came only from one source which was an 
insurance salesman who wasn’t even knowledgeable 

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School: University of Georgia
Department: Journalism Core
Course: Media, News and Consumers
Professor: John Soloski
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: libel, Law, journalism, Media, JOUR3030, whistle-blowers, anonymous, Sources, leakers, Government, FirstAmmendement, constitution, freedomofspeech, freedomofpress, and theories
Name: WEEK 9 Notes for JOUR 3030
Description: Nots covering libel laws, theories regarding freedom of speech, and definitions of different sources.
Uploaded: 11/04/2018
3 Pages 90 Views 72 Unlocks
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  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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