Week 4 SMPA 2173
Popular in Media Law
Laura Castro Lindarte
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Popular in Journalism and Mass Communications
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Laura Castro Lindarte on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SMPA 2173 at George Washington University taught by William L. Youmans in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Media Law in Journalism and Mass Communications at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 09/22/16
September 20, 2016 Speech Distinctions (P.2) ● Burning Speech: ○ Texas v. Johnson: ohnson burned flag which was illegal under Texas law, Supreme Court found that there was no appealing government interest and that law was contentbased (served no larger purpose) ■ Usually symbolic speech is held to intermediate scrutiny but Texas v. Johnson was held to strict scrutiny ■ Unlike draft case when burning draft cards could actually hurt the drafting process, brunning the flag has no government interest ○ Justice Brennan said that peech being offensive is not enough for it to be regulated ● Speech in schools: ONLY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, NOT PRIVATE ONES ○ Court has given school parental authority over kids but still a governmental body so not completely free to restrict students ○ School are limited public forum eneral rule is that limits must be justifiable by impacting the school’s goals ○ Protests in school: ■ Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District: s tudents wore black armbands and got suspended for refusing to take them off, Supreme Court said that wearing armband was “pure speech” so protected by 1st amendment (schools need to show that expression interferes with educating mission) a. Example of symbolic protest ■ Morse v. Frederick: Frederick displayed a banner that said “bong hits for Jesus” to get on TV and got suspended for refusing to take it down, Supreme Court said that school was meeting mission and that banner went against antidrug policy (not political speech or protest) a. OK TO STOP SPEECH THAT GOES AGAINST EXISTING SCHOOL POLICIES ○ Offensive or inappropriate content: ■ Island Trees Union Free School District: l imit library ab ontrol what books are seen in library ■ Bethel School District v. Fraser: required student assembly and speakers running for office made dirty joke upreme Court said okay to punish speakers because schools are suppose to teach how to be respectable citizens and speech went against school policy ■ Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: p rincipal censored 2 pas in schoolsponsored newspaper because going against privacy of those interviewed, upreme Court rules that what s written in schoolsponsored paper will be credited to school so okay to control message a. High school newspaper ○ Compelled Orthodoxy: chools can’t force students to express beliefs that they don’t believe in, seen in pledge cases ○ Religion in schools ourts ban religious content but say school should provide neutral setting for religions ○ Campus speech: U niversities have obligation to maintain broad discussion ■ Public University funding of groups should be neutral ■ Case with signing of statement of believe okay because by forcing people to sign a statement of believe the club was limiting who could join it ○ Speech codes: usually get struck down September 22, 2016 Libel & Emotional Distress: The Plaintiff’s Case (P. 1) ● Libel: one example of defamation ○ Background: ■ Designed to protect individual reputat messes with 1st amendment because free speech allows for criticism so blurry line between criticism and hurting someone’s reputation) a. Long common law tradition b. Has natural consequence ■ Libel: written words, slander: spoken words ■ Seditious libe urting government’s reputation (can be illegal to censor) a. Sedition Act of 1798: nyone talking, publishing or writing about government could get arrested b. Have chilling effect on speech (stop people from speaking) ■ MUST HAVE DAMAGE TO REPUTATION ■ SLAPPs: strategic lawsuit that is created to quiet (chill) speech a. Parties with most resources can use libel to silence people, antiSLAPPs statutes have allowed defendants to have defense paid for (increases the cost of unfair lawsuits) ■ Internet has led to more libel because anonymous is easier, allows defamation to spread faster and easier publication and correction a. Decreases libel cases because how hard it is to win them, usually get settled out of court ● Libel defined: The Plaintiff’s Case ○ Statement of fact (NOT OPINION) ○ Publication was it published?) ■ Third party rule: at least one other person not plaintiff or defendant serves as publication a. When dealing with the mass media publication is assumed ■ Replication re those that republish held responsible? a. Usually republisher is as responsible as is the originator i. Problem due to social media’s fluidly b. Vendors and distributors: hose that are selling, different because distributor doesn’t edit studd unlike publishers i. ISPs are distributors NOT PUBLISHERS (communications Decency Act (CDA) intermediate vendors are not held accountable) ii. Reno v. ACLU brought down many of CDA except this ○ If unknown publisher, laintiff must show as IDENTIFY AS POSSIBLE, STEPS TAKEN TO IDENTIFY AND CASE WOULD WITHSTAND A MOTION TO DISMISS ( strong case even without identity) ○ Identification: is what is being said about plaintiff? Make it difficult to sue when not direct ■ Identification of a group member without name 25 or fewer, sometimes less than 100) ■ Identification in fiction = NOT CLEAR ANSWER ■ Directly named meets standard, also picture, description (easily seen by outsiders) ○ Defamation: ACTUAL injury to reputation ■ Libel per se: obvious and direct ■ Libel per quod: not direct (requires proof) ■ Reason person standard ○ Business reputation: ssentially same requirement to sue ○ Trade libel: libel of products ● Falsity: substantially true (mostly true), substantially false (mostly false) ○ Minor false details not enough to win case ○ Look at “substance, the gist, the sting of the libelous charge can be justified ■ Implication and innuendo: i mply wrongdoing (indirect and can amount to false statement) ■ How you say it, state things without conclusion but obviously bad ● Fault: ○ Negligence: for private figure, minimum level of fault that needs to be shown → ordinary duty of care to meet truth ○ New York Times v. Sullivan: 1964, do public figures show negligence? ■ NYT published ad of Civil Rights and accused southern police of using illegal things to stop protests ■ Sullivan (cop) sued ■ Supreme Court said that public official needed to show “actual malice” (information they know is wrong or had no care of truth) ○ Actual Malice: knowledge of falsity and reckless disregard for true ■ Bad journalism by Saturday Press is example court will look at specific journalistic values) but will loo rgency of story, reliability of source and believability of what is said. ■ Hard to proof it because of state of mind question
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