ERIC Number: ED071081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: N/A
Defamation and Public Officials: The Evolving Law of Libel.
Lawhorne, Clifton O.
This handbook, intended for journalists and others in the field of communication, examines the evolving law of libel in the United States and discusses the effects of recent trends. By placing libel law in the context of American History and by using over 500 court cases as specific examples, the author demonstrates not only its historical development and its present position, but also the future direction it could take. The author suggests that one of the major trends has been the consistent narrowing, throughout American history, of the laws for libeling public officials as the people's right to know about and discuss their leaders has broadened. On the basis of precedents, the author argues that reactionary pressures against present liberal attitudes toward libel may lead to highly restrictive libel laws in the future. Accordingly, the author warns the media to confine their comments to the truth, stressing that the ethical confines of journalists are much narrower today than the legal confines. A table of cases and a bibliography are included. (Author/DI)
Descriptors: American Culture, Due Process, Federal Legislation, Information Dissemination, Journalism, Laws, Legal Responsibility, Mass Media, News Media, Press Opinion, Public Officials, Public Opinion, Publications, United States History
Southern Illinois University Press, P.O. Box 697, Carbondale, Ill. 62901 ($15.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A