Everything online journalists need to protect their legal rights. This free resource culls from all Reporters Committee resources and includes exclusive content on digital media law issues.
Limited-purpose public figure
A limited purpose public figure is someone who is not so famous as to be a household name, but who has become well known with regard to a particular issue. For example, a businessperson who has high visibility because of fundraising efforts in a community may not be a public figure for purposes other than the individual's community activity.
Articles published by the New York Daily News calling a former school principal a “firebrand” and a “principal of hate” are not defamatory because the statements are opinions, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled last week. The Supreme Court is the trial-level court in New York.
A federal judge denied a motion for retrial in the case of a self-described investigative blogger, ruling that private figure plaintiffs do not have to establish “negligence” or “actual malice” to hold a non-media defendant liable in a defamation suit arising out of speech not on a matter of public concern.