Defamatory statements made from a prepared script are

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Defamatory statements made from a prepared script are libel Defamatory statements made extemporaneously are slander (oral or uttered defamation) Grounds for libel suits o Matters that might be held libelous by a court would have to: Imply commission of a crime Tend to injure a person in his/her profession or job Imply a person has a disease Damage a person’s credit Imply unchaste behavior Indicate a lack of mental capacity Incite public ridicule or contempt The New York Times v. Sullivan o Background: contentious fight for civil rights in 1960s. o Five officials in Alabama sued the Times for libel o The Supreme Court decision: Gave the press wider latitude in covering public officials Gave the press greater freedom to present issues of public concern o The decision to recognizes a healthy democracy relies on lively discussion and free expression o No public official can recover damages for libel unless The article is defamatory and false The article was written with actual malice
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Publication was made with knowledge that it was false, or The statement was made with reckless disregard to truth o The decision is law in every state o The decision takes precedence over every state and federal court decision o The decision applies to public figures, too Public figure or private figure?
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  • Fall '10
  • MelissaAlpers-Sprngers
  • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, Incite public ridicule, Imply unchaste behavior

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