Newswatch: Getting Even Without Winning

In a period when many newspapers feel that their readers don't love them, the increase in libel suits and costly verdicts may seem further evidence of reader (and juror) dissatisfaction. But the situation may not be all that bad.

Concerned about the credibility of the press, the American Society of Newspaper Editors in a poll of readers found that about two out of three consider their local paper reliable. But perhaps the most telling reader criticism was a feeling that reporters are too intent on "getting a good story and don't worry much about hurting people." People feeling hurt is what...

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