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Media Law

A Practical Guide (Revised Edition)

Ashley Messenger

Media Law: A Practical Guide (Revised Edition) provides a clear and concise explanation of media law principles. It focuses on the practical aspects of how to protect oneself from claims and how to evaluate the likelihood of a successful claim. This new edition has been revised to reflect important changes and updates to the law, including recent developments relating to scandalous trademarks, embedding, fair use, drones, revenge porn laws, interpretation of emoji, GDPR, false statements laws, lies, and the libel implications of the #MeToo movement.

Media Law is divided into five sections that help non-lawyers understand how the principles apply to their actual behavior: background information about the legal system; things you can be sued for; how you actually gather information; ways the government can regulate speech; and practical issues that are related to media law. This book is perfect for courses in media and communications law or a combination course in journalism law and ethics, as it covers both the legal and ethical aspects of communication.

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10 Negligence Claims Against the Media: Content That May Result in Personal Injury

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CHAPTER 10

Negligence Claims Against the Media

Content That May Result in Personal Injury

One serious legal risk that people often overlook is the risk of being sued for negligence if someone is physically harmed as a result of speech. It sounds strange; personal injury cases are most often associated with car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, or other claims that arise from actions, not speech. However, it is possible to be sued for negligence—and in some cases be successfully sued—if speech results in injury to another.

Some of these cases arise from how-to guides or advice. Some arise from encouraging people to do dangerous things. Some arise simply because the information provided turned out to be wrong. Many arise because someone copied a stunt they saw on television, or acted because they were inspired by a song or a movie. These types of claims have had varying degrees of success.

This chapter will discuss the following issues:

1. What is negligence?

2. How does negligence apply to copycats?

3. How does negligence apply to encouragement and advice?

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