New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

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New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that established the actual malice standard, which has to be met before press reports about public officials can be considered to be defamation and libel; and hence allowed free reporting of the civil rights campaigns in the southern United States. It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press. The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty of proving the defendant's knowledge and intentions, such cases—when they involve public figures—rarely prevail.

Before this decision, there were nearly US $300 million in libel actions outstanding against news organizations from the Southern states, and it had caused many pub...

Channel:  Audiopedia
Topics:  Society