Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Editors Publishers shouldn't be liable in libel suits

The problem about Philipine libel law is that the editor, and even the publisher are charged together with the reporter.
There are good reasons to say that the editor, and specially the publisher shouldn't be charged together with the person who wrote the purportedly libelous article.
I believe the New York Times v Sullivan ruling supports this theorem, which I intend to elaborate in my future blogs.
One should read closely the ratiocinations of the U.S. Supreme Court when it found that the New York Times Company were not driven by actual malice in publishing that full page ad containing false statements.
You would notice that determination of actual malice should be directed at the persons directly responsible for the false publications in the newspaper organization.
Let me quote that significant statement in the NYTC v Sullivan ruling : "the state of mind required for actual malice would have to be brought home to the persons in the Times' organization having responsibility for the publication of the advertisement"
Also, Manila Bulletin Publisher Napoleon Rama, who until now, seemingly possesses that potion called the fountain of youth, wrote a position paper once that contended that publishers (like him) should not be made co-respondents in libel actions.

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