Fair report privilege

Friedman v. Bloomberg L.P.

October 3, 2017

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 22 media organizations filed an amicus brief in support of Bloomberg L.P.'s petition for rehearing before the Second Circuit.  Plaintiff Dan Friedman sued Bloomberg for defamation after Bloomberg News published an article about a lawsuit Friedman filed against his former employer, Palladyne International Asset Management B.V.  The article included a quote from Palladyne about the merits of Friedman's lawsuit that Friedman alleges was defamatory.  The district court granted Bloomberg's motion to dismiss, and the Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The amicus brief supports Bloomberg's argument that the Second Circuit should rehear the case and affirm the dismissal of the lawsuit on the grounds that the allegedly defamatory statement is protected by New York's fair report privilege, New York Civil Rights Law § 74.

Larson v. Gannett Co., Inc.

June 29, 2016

Ryan Larson sued Gannett Company, Inc., for defamation in Minnesota after a local television station and newspaper reported on the police investigation into the killing of a police officer. After the officer's death, law enforcement officials held a news conference and issued a press release stating they had arrested Larson in connection with the death. Journalists from KARE 11 and the St. Cloud Times reported on Larson's arrest. Police later cleared Larson as a suspect. The trial court denied Gannett's motion for summary judgment that asserted the statements were protected under the fair report privilege. Gannett appealed for discretionary review to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The Reporters Committee filed a request to participate as amicus curiae in support of Gannett's petition for discretionary review.

Texas Supreme Court reinstates libel lawsuit, rejects rule on reporting of third-party allegations

Jack Komperda | Libel | News | July 1, 2013
July 1, 2013

The Texas Supreme Court reinstated a defamation suit against an Austin television station that aired a broadcast about a local physician, concluding there were factual issues in the case best left for a jury to decide.

Judge rules N.Y. newspaper protected by fair report privilege

Jack Komperda | Libel | News | April 26, 2013
April 26, 2013

A New York trial court judge dismissed a defamation claim brought by a convicted sex offender against a local newspaper that reported on his arrest and guilty plea.

Queens County Judge Sidney F. Strauss concluded this week that Wave Publishing Co., publishers of the weekly newspaper The Wave in Rockaway Beach, were protected by the state’s fair report privilege for a 2008 story concerning the criminal charges brought by local authorities against Jacek Marczewski, the custodian of a synagogue in Far Rockaway, Queens.

N.Y. judge dismisses portion of coach's wife's libel suit against ESPN

Lilly Chapa | Libel | News | February 19, 2013
February 19, 2013

A New York judge dismissed a portion of a libel suit against ESPN because the statements in question were reported from court documents and therefore protected under the state's fair report privilege.

Libelous truth?

Fifteen years later, a libel suit finally ends.
Cover Story
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Photographers surround Richard Jewell prior to his testifying before a Congressional hearing.

Reporters Committee urges Texas court to uphold protection for reporting third-party allegations

Press Release | December 15, 2011
December 15, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a friend of the court brief urging the Texas Supreme Court to uphold a state law that protects journalists who accurately report on allegations made by third parties, even if those accusations ultimately are found to be false. The Texas Association of Broadcasters joined the brief.

Boston paper's reports on its own libel suit not defamatory

Kirsten Berg | Libel | Feature | September 16, 2011
September 16, 2011

Claims that the Boston Herald further defamed a famous musician in its coverage of his libel suit against the newspaper were dismissed Wednesday by a Massachusetts judge, who ruled that the rocker failed to show that the reports were inaccurate, unfair or malicious.

The initial claim against the Herald filed by Tom Scholz, the founder of the rock band Boston, is still pending.

Fair report privilege protects comments about school audit

Aaron Mackey | Libel | Feature | June 6, 2011
June 6, 2011

A San Diego radio talk show commentator was shielded from libel claims brought by a former public high school principal after reporting on an audit into whether the principal used school resources to sell ads for a gay magazine, a California appellate court ruled last week.

Court rejects suit over "60 Minutes" terrorism funding story

Kristen Rasmussen | Libel | Feature | April 1, 2011
April 1, 2011

The First Amendment protects statements in a “60 Minutes” story about the alleged use of a chicken processing company as a cover for terrorism financing in the United States, a federal court ruled earlier this week.