Executive director George Freeman reviews the past six years of MLRC, an eventful period that saw the organization adapting to a global pandemic, a president at war with our members, and more.
A Baltimore jury returned a defense verdict at the end of a two-week, in-person trial against Sinclair Broadcast Group and its investigative reporter Chris Papst, in a media defamation and false light invasion of privacy case over a series of broadcast news reports.
Winning Under the Negligence Standard: CBS Affiliate Reasonably Relied on Law Enforcement When Airing Wrong Mug ShotMichael J. Lambert
“The negligence element of the defamation claim is dispositive in this case.” Media law practitioners do not expect to see this sentence in an opinion at the motion to dismiss stage.
A long-awaited decision of the Georgia Supreme Court has restored life to the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, reversing decisions by a state trial court and the Georgia Court of Appeals that backhanded basic First Amendment principles and threatened to leave the law’s protections an empty shell.
Federal Court Dismisses Defamation, Fraud Claims Against Producers and Spotify for “Son of a Hitman” PodcastReid Pillifant
Parker’s lawsuit claimed the 10-part series had “irrevocably damaged her reputation” by insinuating she had schemed with the F.B.I. to convict Harrelson, and that producers had fraudulently induced her participation in the podcast when they failed to disclose that Harrelson’s son, Brett, served as an executive producer.
The case demonstrates that, even in the absence of an anti-SLAPP statute, Michigan courts can be persuaded to immediately dispose of bogus attempts to chill unwanted reporting.
Third Circuit: Section 230 Does Not Bar Pennsylvania Statutory Right of Publicity Claim Against FacebookDori Hanswirth, Michael E. Kientzle, and Rachel Carpman
The Third Circuit split with a leading Ninth Circuit opinion holding that internet service providers are immune from all state intellectual property law claims.
A recent decision from the Fifth Circuit concluded that officials have no qualified immunity after they arrested a citizen journalist for asking a police officer for information as part of reporting the local news.
Though finding that the photographers were not participants in the protest, were wearing press badges, and had not refused to comply with any specific direction from police, Judge Archer ruled that the statute immunized Corporal Debono from the charges and dismissed the case.
A Maryland federal judge has ruled that a state law banning the broadcast of lawfully-obtained recordings of criminal trials violates the First Amendment as applied to a National Public Radio podcast.
With this ruling, it appears that the media will only be able to access law enforcement records if law enforcement makes a voluntary disclosure, the records are introduced as exhibits at trial, or, possibly, if the case is already closed. The sweeping ruling stands as a high-water mark for government secrecy of law enforcement records in Alabama.
The court held that the names of the subcontractors being paid with state funds to lobby for wolf-delisting were not properly classified as protected “trade secrets” or “commercial information,” under Utah’s open records statute, and that in any event the names must be released because the public interest in access outweighs any interests in restriction of access.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental part of any democracy, but exercising and defending it can be a difficult and expensive thing.