Defamation suits help, not hurt, free press
Defamation suits against news outlets can protect rather than hinder truth tellers in the media, writes MSU Law First Amendment Clinic Director Nancy Costello. Two recent cases show the First Amendment's reach, but liars can be busted for their lies.
Defamation lawsuits filed against news outlets can protect rather than hinder truth tellers in the media, writes Nancy Costello, Director of MSU Law's First Amendment Clinic and supervisor of The McLellan. In her article for The Conversation, Costello highlights two recent cases, one brought against Fox News and another threatened against Newsmax. While the First Amendment provides sufficient protection for news outlets, liars can still be busted for their lies. Plaintiffs have a steep hill to climb in making their cases, but courts draw the line when news outlets publish untrue information knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth. This line-drawing could make the case against Fox News, which has been sued for baseless reports about voting fraud in the November 2020 election. To read more, visit The Conversation.