SNSG Ch 13

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“Even if the statement didn’t originate with your staff, if your newspaper or Web site publishes it, you can be held liable.” - Ch. 13, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 122.

I didn’t know that libel wasn’t allowed in letters to the editor or columns. Apparently it doesn’t matter what form it takes, as long as they publish it, they are at fault. It just seems like politicians are trashed everywhere - on television, in opinion pieces and columns.

Individuals write damaging statements about them and they publish hostile statements made by other politicians as well. Does libel not apply to notable people? I’ve heard of celebrities suing for libel so perhaps it just doesn’t apply to political figures?

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That's right -- what counts as libel against a "public figure" is very different from what would count as libel against a regular citizen. That's part of the reason, I think, why Obama was recently testy regarding media coverage of him walking his daughter down the street to a party, and why Palin supporters got so upset over coverage of Bristol Palin's pregnancy (and the rumors about the parentage of Palin's most recent child). Children of politicians are not "public figures," but of course if the children accompany their parents to official events and are presented for photographers, then the line starts to get a little blurry.

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This page contains a single entry by published on November 3, 2008 12:06 PM.

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