libel claim

Elements of a Libel Claim That Might Affect Your Media Firm

One of the most dynamic industries is the media industry. This is the most affected by technological changes and trends. To this end, you’re tasked to change the content you are churning to pique the interests of your target audience and remain influential.

While you do this, it is common for some people to go over the top and slap a defamation claim against your media firm. Personal injury law has undergone a significant transformation nowadays, and unlike in the past, courts are focused on hefty fines to punish defendants.

Trusted media law firms should be your first stop when served with a libel claim. Defamation, in the context of personal injury, encompasses damage to one’s reputation.

Slander and libel are the two types of defamation. Slander refers to a spoken statement, while libel denotes a written statement. Re-broadcasting and reprinting a libellous statement initially made by someone else will also constitute libel.

The following are the primary elements the plaintiff in your case should prove in your case.

Publication

Publication in libel law does not necessarily mean writing down a defamatory statement in your papers. Any comment will be deemed published if you communicate it to somebody other than the person the statement is referring to. This element will be present in your case if, for instance, a defamatory statement is seen on your computer screen by a third party even if it does not make it to your newspapers or other documents.

Identification

The statement in your case will be deemed as identifying the plaintiff if it’s shown to be ‘’of and concerning’’ them. Some media firms opt to disguise the identity of the subjects in their articles. With this alternative, ensure that the disguise is such that no one can make a reasonable identification with the plaintiff. Moreover, you should identify the facts that have been changed. Groups and corporations can also sue for libel if a statement links them to the story in question.

Harm

on a meeting

Statements are deemed harmful when they seriously shame, ridicule, injure or disgrace someone or leads other people to do so. Those that are merely confusing or mildly embarrassing or inaccurate will not pass the ‘’harm’’ element of a libel claim. The common statements deemed harmful include those that refer to people’s sexual orientation, a vile disease, illegal behaviour or religious or racial bigotry.

Fault

When proving fault in a libel suit, the plaintiff should show that the reporter either failed to do something they should have done or did something they shouldn’t have. A ‘’reasonable reporter’’ should, for instance, get all sides of a story and go through all relevant documents before making a statement. If they do not do this, they can be found at fault in a libel lawsuit.

The presence of the above elements makes a watertight case for the prosecution in your lawsuit. Nobody will want to associate with your firm when found guilty in a defamation case. Fortunately, most of these elements can be negated in your work. This is by having an attorney on a retainer basis to guide you on handling your articles before they go public and attract claims