The Press: Reversal in Alabama

After a professional visit to Alabama in April 1960, veteran New York Times Reporter Harrison Salisbury reported that the city of Birmingham was a smoldering volcano of racial tension, "a community of fear." These and other Salisbury conclusions, published in a two-part series, outraged six Birmingham and neighboring Bessemer city commissioners (plus one police detective), who separately brought libel suits against Salisbury and the Times and asked a total of $3,100,000 in damages. Last week in New Orleans, by holding that a newspaper published in New York City could not be sued for libel in Alabama, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court...

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