Defamation and Public Officials: The Evolving Law of Libel (New horizons in journalism) by Clifton O. Lawhorne Ph.D., Howard Rusk Long
Defamation and Public Officials: The Evolving Law of Libel (New horizons in journalism)
Author: Clifton O. Lawhorne Ph.D., Howard Rusk Long
Title: Defamation and Public Officials: The Evolving Law of Libel (New horizons in journalism)
ISBN10: 0809304546
ISBN13: 978-0809304547
Format: .PDF .EPUB .FB2
Pages:
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (March 1, 1971)
Language: English
Size pdf: 1633 kb
Size epub: 1688 kb
Rating: 3.5 ✪
Votes: 278
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Writing, Research & Publishing Guides

This first comprehensive study of the changes which have occurred in the law of libel over the years fills a long-felt need by journalists and others in the field of communication for a book dealing specifically with press law and public officials. However, though written primarily for the working press and students of journalism, the work will be of interest to general readers concerned with public affairs, and, through its compilation of widely-scattered information, will be useful as a reference tool for lawyers.

 

The story of libel law, from colonial times to the present, is basically the story of courtroom battles between public officials claiming the right to a good name and private citizens claiming the right to know about and discuss public officials. As Mr. Hart points out, history shows that in the United States the law for libeling public officials has been consistently narrowed as the public’s right to know about their government and discuss their leaders has broadened.

 

Mr. Lawhorne thus traces the evolution of libel law in this country, explains the reasons for the recent liberalization of the law, and suggests some of the present dangers, in his opinion, stemming from the abuse of the law. Among the precedent-setting cases cited by Mr. Lawhorne are Garrison v. Louisiana, Dodd v. Pearson, and Goldwater v. Ginzberg. Among his conclusions is a warning to those who disseminate information to con­fine their comments to the truth by virtue of strict ethical standards, lest the reaction to present liberal libel law lead to highly restrictive law of the future.