Freedom of the Press & Defamation
a)    Defamation:  (NY Times v. Sullivan) can only recover in tort if…false and
i)    Public official? Knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for veracity [actual malice]
(1)    Public official Rosenblat
(a)    Those among the hierarchy of gov’t that have or appear to the public to have substantial responsibility for the control of governmental affairs
(b)    Need not be paid; need not even have actual authority (if it appears you have).
(2)    Monitor rule:  anyone who ever runs for public office can always have charges of criminal conduct released subject to the NYT actual malice rule.
(3)    Test:
(a)    False
(b)    About official conduct
(c)    With actual malice (knowledge or reckless disregard for veracity)
(d)    Identifiable character
(e)    [Prove damages; can get actuals & punies on showing of actual malice]
ii)    Public figure? Knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for veracity [actual malice]
(1)    Limited public figure:  only held to “public figure” standard if press info relates to their public-ness
(2)    Involuntary public figures:  only held to “public figure” standard for the thing they are involuntary public figure about (ex. criminal defendant)
(a)    Public figures:  have no governmental capacities
(i)    All purpose public figures:  who b/c of reputation, wealth, etc. is for all intent and purposes a public figure (ex-presidents, jfk jr.) ? public for all facets of life
(ii)    Limited public figures:  voluntarily cast themselves into the vortex of public discussion for specific issue ? for the purposes of that specific issue, they are public figures.
1.    going to court is not a choice, so not thrusting self into vortex of public opinion Time v. Firestone (adultery case)
2.    you can’t make the person a public figure through the defamation itself  Hepps
(b)    Test:  actual malice
iii)    Private figure? states pick the standard of their tort Gertz v. Welch
(1)    as long as it’s not strict liability (need at least negligence)
(2)    must show actual malice (knowledge/reckless disregard) to get punitives
(3)    private citizens
(a)    test:
(i)    must show at least fault (only); no strict liability
(ii)    states may impose any bop they want as long as fault (Texas = negligence)
(iii)    punitive damages ? must show actual malice (knowledge/reckless disregard)
(4)    credit reports  Dun & Bradstreet
(a)    if credit reports are a matter of “public concern” ? usual private citizen test (fault for compensatory damages; actual malice for punitive damages)
(i)    public concern:  must be determined by content, form and context as revealed by the whole record  Connick test
(b)    if credit reports are not a matter of “public concern” ? can get actuals and punitives with a showing of fault, only
b)    IIMA:  can’t recover for IIMA unless you show actual malice [same standards as defamation Hustler Magazine v. Falwell]
i)    To recover for IIMA a public figure or official must prove actual malice; why?  too hard to judge what is “outrageous”
c)    Justifications:
i)    public figures receive less protection b/c of marketplace of ideas;
ii)    need to out things about one running for office;
iii)    they have voluntarily subjected selves to limelight
d)    “reckless disregard”  Herbert case
i)    prove journalist entertained serious doubts as the truth of the publication (subjective)
ii)    a subjective awareness of probably falsity may be found if there are obvious reasons to doubt the veracity of the information
e)    opinions:  Milkovich   q of fact for jury
i)    opinions are protected
ii)    unless they have objectively verifiable fact components (then it can be fact, and therefore be defamation)
f)    quotations  Masson
i)    if a quotation doesn’t represent what a person said, that can be defamation
ii)    a deliberate alteration of a quotation is not defamation as long as there is no material change in the meaning of the statement (you can lie a little, just don’t lie a lot)
iii)    even though something is in quotation marks & is not a quote, it’s not defamation unless there is a material change in the meaning of the statement
g)    literally true, but false impression
i)    Turner case (Texas SCt); this has not been addressed by US SCt.
ii)    Test:  if discreets facts (though true) create a substantially false impression by omission, juxtaposition and misleading, it is “false” for defamation purposes