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J300 Chapter 4 – Fargo

J300 Chapter 4 – Fargo - J300 Fargo Spring...

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J300 – Fargo Spring 2009 Study Guide for Chapter 4 The questions below are designed to help you study as you read Chapter 4 of the Trager- Russomanno-Ross textbook. There are no guarantees that all of these questions will be on the next exam, and there may be questions on the exam that are not here (from lecture notes and additional readings, for example). 1. What is libel? Slander? o Libel is a written defamation (insult). o Slander is a false accusation that results in the defamation of its victims. Slander is associated with spoken defamation, whereas libel is written. o The damages awarded for libel usually being higher than for slander, because written communication likely caused more harm because it lasted longer and its audience was larger. 2. Who or what can be libeled? o Journalists, reporters o Defamatory motion picture content may be grounds for libel. o Defamatory content in broadcasting is deemed libel in most states, slander in others. o Some states say that if broadcast defamation is from scripted (written) material it is libel. 3. What types of content can be the subject of a libel suit? o Truth or substantial truth are the appropriate counterarguments to the plaintiff’s claim that the material at issue is false and can be the subject of a libel suit. 4. What is the plaintiff’s burden of proof in libel cases? o While the plaintiff must prove every element of her case, a successful defendant needs only one suitable defense. o Defending a libel suit may consist of merely turning the plaintiff’s case inside out—they may be able to demonstrate that there is no liability for publishing the statement at issue. o Those accused of libel have several defenses at their disposal that do not necessarily correspond directly with any elements of the plaintiff’s case. 5. How many people have to see a defamatory statement for it to be considered “published?” o In order for material to be considered libelous, the plaintiff must show that the material was made public.
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o To satisfy this standard, only one person besides the writer/speaker of the material and the person who was allegedly defamed must have seen or heard the information. 6. What law gives Internet Service Providers immunity from libel suits? o Communications Decency Act (CDA) in 1996 as part of the Telecommunications Act. 7. Can you get in trouble for republishing a defamatory statement? o
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