Magazine article The Quill

Press Faring Better in Libel, Privacy Cases

Magazine article The Quill

Press Faring Better in Libel, Privacy Cases

Article excerpt

ODDS & ENDS

A report released in late February by the New York City-based Libel Defense Resource Center found that in 2000, fewer libel and privacy cases were filed against the news media. In cases that were filed, media defendants won a greater percentage of cases than in the past 20 years.

In the 2001 Report on Trials and Damages, there were 11 libel, privacy and related trials listed against the press from last year - down significantly from the 1990s, when the yearly average number was 17.9, and an average of 26.1 in the 1980s.

Media defendants won nearly half of the trials last year (five of 11, or 46 percent), up from a third of the 12 trials in 1999. The number was also well above the 38 percent win rate for the 1990s and 35 percent for the 1980s.

Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota, told the Freedom Forum in mid-March that she believes the U. …

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