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Mass Media Law Final
Terms in this set (116)
what is the least winnable privacy tort?
publication of private information
Why is publication of private information a diffictult privacy tort to win?
Its a balance between the desire of individuals to keep their secrets private and the insatiable appetite for dirt on celebrities and others.
Rarely of these cases survive summary judgment motions by the defense
Describe the relationship between sexual assault victims and newspapers
Almost always courts find that sex assault victims cant sue when newspapers or TV news uses their name on the air after their names appear in a court recor
Body surfer case:
-Mike Virgil sued Sports Illustrated over a story that went beyond his body surfing to describe his strange habits; eats bugs. -His wife said he eats spiders.
-Virgil lost. The court found the article was not offensive in terms of Morbidity or sensationalism.
-The standard comes up again.
- This case is known as: Virgil v. Time Inc.
these are defendants who win private information
- This area of the law tugs at the hearts of a judge, who have cared out an exception.
Bill Clinton's aide and death photos
The media filled a FOIA for death scene photos of a Bill Clinton aide in 2004.
The family said the photos would cause irreparable Emotional Harm to them.
The courts agreed. The aide was Vincent Foster, the white house lawyer who committed suicide.
He was in the spotlight for ethics questions surrounding the clintons from the Arkansas years when they worked together.
Conservative media outlets speculated Clinton ordered foster's death.
Ethics: Society of Professional Journalists
show good taste, avoid pandering for lurid curiosity.
Some call certain modern journalism "sewer pipe journalism"
False light element of privacy tort
linois allows this type of lawsuit. Other states think its too close to libel law. FLA, MINN, COLORADO among them.
Test for False Light
1) are allegations false or are they words that cause embarrassment "substantially true?"
2) Are the allegations highly offensive to the reasonable person?
False light trap
dramatizing a false story with someone photo could lead to trouble or using a photo taken of a person in a crowd as art for a controversial subject like herpes.
Ex) Linda Duncan v. WJLA-TV
Defendants who won private information cases?
Doe v. Beasly
Marsh v. county of San Diego
Toffolini v.LFP Publishing
Doe v. Beasly
A school jock went on the air when his two decade relationship with a woman occurred.
He talked about intimate details of their time together.
She was so emotional damaged she got a bowl on her face that causes scars.
Marsh v. county of San Deigo
The parents of a child sued the medical examiner for turning over death photos to the local newspaper and a TV station.
The photos allegedly showed abuse.
Toffolini v. LFP Publishing.
LFP stands for Larry Flynt publishing. Flynt owned Hustler magazine.
They published 20 year old photos of a nude female wrestler who was killed by her husband.
The woman's family sued for emotional distress.
The brief biography that accompanied the photo didn't make the photo Newsworthy.
what are Newsworthiness standards:
this protects defendants in a lot of private information lawsuits
* Sidis v. F-R Publishing
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