ERIC Number: ED309424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Chilling the Messenger: The Impact of Libel on Community Newspapers.
Hansen, Elizabeth K.; Moore, Roy L.
A study used a new attitude and behavioral scale for measuring the chilling effect--an undercurrent of fear with respect to publishing decisions--and to determine the impact, if any, of threatened or actual libel suits on community newspapers. The editors and/or publishers of all 167 newspapers in Kentucky with a circulation of less than 50,000 were surveyed by mail, with 69 completed questionnaires returned. Results indicated that almost 70% of the newspapers had been threatened at least once within the last five years, and approximately three-fifths of them carried libel insurance. These findings suggst that community newspapers are indeed chilled by libel and that even the threat of a libel suit may chill smaller newspapers. (Two tables of data are included; 46 references and one appendix containing the chilling effect scale items are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky