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Guides: Media and the law

Last Updated: Thursday January 06 2005 17:20 GMT


If you say something that damages the good reputation of a person, or a group of people you may have made a defamatory statement.

Lawyers say it's defamation if it has any of these effects:

  • Leaves the person open to being hated, made fun of or treated as worthless.
  • Means the person is avoided or rejected by other people.
  • Makes it hard for the person to do their job or make money the way they normally do.
  • Makes ordinary decent members of society think less of the person.
If you make a defamatory comment on TV, radio, the internet or in print then you can be sued for libel.

Guide to Media and the law

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