ERIC Number: ED264555
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Negligence 10 Years after Gertz v. Welch. Journalism Monographs Number Ninety-Three.
Hopkins, W. Wat
The implications and shortcomings of court rulings on negligence in libel laws are explored in this paper. The paper first discusses the particulars of the 1974 landmark "Gertz versus Robert Welch, Inc." United States Supreme Court case, in which the court ruled that private persons as well as public figures would be required to prove some degree of fault on the part of libel defendants. Noting that as a result of this case three general standards of fault for private persons have evolved (actual malice as the most severe and negligence as the least severe), the paper reviews the precedents to the "Gertz" case and examines the way individual state courts have handled the question of negligence. The paper then proposes a workable negligence standard, and ways that journalists can avoid negligence rulings against themselves. Negligence standards listed by states, as well as standards of undecided states leaning toward negligence, are appended. (HTH)
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Journalism, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 ($5.00, single issue).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.