Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chapter 2 Assignments - Part 3 (Due by Feb. 27)

Assignment 4: Legal issues are now very common in sports. For sports journalists covering today's myriad of issues - from steroid use, to heat-related deaths and use of drugs - being aware of legal terms is essential. Toward the end of Chapter 2, there is a discussion on "libel" - or written defamation of a person - also cover invasion of privacy. On a short comment on this blog, review that part of Chapter 2. Be able to explain:

(1) What is libel?
(2) How do you define the publication requirement of this law?
(3) How does a person prove he or she was a victim of libel?
(4) What is the only absolute defense of libel for a journalist?
(5) What is "qualified privilege"?
(6) What is "malice"?
(7) What is "neutral reporting" and how does this impact libel suits?
(8) How does "current newsworthiness" impact a complaint about "invasion or privacy"?

Please email your comments to me by Feb. 27.

Assignment 5: This is a blog assignment on this post. Please answer question 4 on page 41. Place your answer on the comment section of this post. Make sure you identify yourself. You are allowed to banter with your fellow classmates on this issue. In other words, if Jaime makes a comment, Shaun in SA or Mark in Kingsville can post their own version and challenge Jaime's statement. This is only an example.....okay? Good luck.


  1. This is from Alisa Reynolds in San Antonio. Question 4 on page 41 sums up why ethical journalism will lead to a better career.

    Writing factual, accurate and fair is what matters most to sports journalism. Staying professional and maintaining your independence from a particular ballclub is essential. Although some journalism do enjoy the "freebies". this does not concern my personally because I just want the accurate and fairness of a story. When you do not act fair and write inaccurate information, you will be subject to libel and court dates, and the "rich player" spare time of defaming you like you did to them.
    Honesty is key and factual information is crucial in protecting oneself in this profession.

    Thank you.

  2. Alisa you said it very well. I agree freebies may be nice but being fair and accurate is what counts in a story. I learned that everyone is accountable for their actions including not writing the truth.

  3. As a sports journalist I would be most concerned with Fair play. My concern with this ethical code would not be with invasion of privacy but more with defamation of character. I would find it difficult to write an article about an athlete in good standing, and then have to turn back around the next day and state something negative. I would imagine it would be difficult to maintain a good standing with everyone for further interviews. It’s difficult not to burn your bridges when you have to shed light on some negative facts. The most important way to keep those contacts would be to make certain every word written is a fact and if there is an error to promptly correct it.

  4. Sports journalism is about stating the facts and being professional. Some sports writers lose the thought of staying true and neutral to their writing and only think about what the reader wants. This is what can get them into law suits and a bad reputation. Most readers want the writer to be accurate and state the truth regardless of who they are going for. In this profession, the first amendment only protects the writer if they state the truth and have evidence to support it.

  5. Christina, thank you some nice thoughts.....