Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Media Law. Qualified Privilege.

This session covered Qualified Privilege. I have used Chris Horrie's Media Law notes to develop my own notes taken during the lecture.

You are entitled to this defence if:
You report, contemporaneously, anything heard in court or parliament, even if it is defamatory.

Journalists are NOT entitled to Absolute Privilege.

QP also applies when reporting from:
- Local government meetings
- Pressure group meetings
- AGMs of companies

If your report includes defamatory allegations you MUST always give the person an opportunity to deny it.
You can then use a statement such as: "Subject to contradiction"

The Reynolds case plays an important role in the defence of Qualified Privilege.
 An article on the BBC's website explains the case briefly...

'The Reynolds Defence is named after a defence raised in the late 1990s by Times Newspapers after the Sunday Times published an article about the former Irish prime minister, Albert Reynolds. Mr Reynolds sued, arguing the allegations in the article were not true and were defamatory. The newspaper argued that the allegations it published were serious and that it had a duty to publish them. They were, it argued, made in the public interest and after they'd exercised all reasonable care in checking. Even if the allegations were not true, they argued they should have been able to report them and be legally protected by 'qualified privilege'.'

The Judge in the Reynolds case was Lord Nicholls, he set up a ten point test to ensure that all journalism be at the highest level and if followed by the book your report will in theory be subject to a certain amount of legal protection.

We also had another helpful recap of Defamation...

Publication + Defamation + Identification = Libel    ...and the defences...

- Comment
- Justification
- Qualified Privilige

George Galloaway - Daily telegraph failed the ten point test, mainly because not all of the defamatory allegations were put to Galloway prior to publication.

Chris mentioned the 'final call' - the call that no journalist wants to make, it will literally make or break your story.

!!! REMEMBER!!! With QP Judges like it when reporting live/notes are published straight away!

***TEACHING GOLD**************
The 7th point of the ten point test... it is critical to put the defamatory allegation to the person and allow them to deny it at equal length.

"Just one more thing..."

...Make sure that when adding a picture that you do not simply copy and paste it from an unknown source. Use but make sure that when searching you use the 'Advanced Search' and tick the box that says 'Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content', which means that you are allowed to use that picture IF you attribute it.

Why not also try:

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