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ERIC Number: ED269790
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Headlines in Newspapers and Libel Law: A Need to Reconsider the Traditional Approach?
Pasternack, Steve
Noting that the impressions left by the large, bold type of newspaper headlines have frequently resulted in libel suits, a study explored the individual and interactive roles played by defamatory headlines and news articles in a reader's perception of the contents. Four separate versions of a news article and its headline were prepared by the researcher. Subjects, 40 students from an undergraduate biology course at New Mexico State University, were randomly divided into four groups. Each group was then given one of four versions of a news article and headline prepared by the researcher. Each member of the group read the article and completed a questionnaire. The results indicated that a headline that identifies someone and falsely defames that person could cause more damage than a libelous article. These results suggest that courts should be aware of the fact that a medium-sized headline can significantly damage a reputation, regardless of what the article states. Therefore, the current trend of examining the accompanying article to such a headline in order to determine libel must be reevaluated. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A