PRESS Jousts Without Winners

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, . . . or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press AMENDMENT I PRESS Jousts Without Winners After a flurry of major libel cas

When Mobil Corp. President William Tavoulareas sued the Washington Post for saying he used his corporate position to "set up his son" in a shipping business, the jurors on the case reportedly proceeded on three intuitive assumptions. First, if a news organization accuses someone, it ought to be able to prove its charges. Second, a public figure whose career depends on his reputation ought to enjoy, if anything, greater protection from unsubstantiated attack than an ordinary citizen. Third, documented disagreement within a newsroom about a story's validity -- followed by its publication -- shows the news organization doubted the story's accuracy.


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