There is a must read piece by Jack Shafer in Slate for all journalism students whose study of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, and its equivalent in other countries, leads them to believe defamation is a cut-and-dried issue.
Under the heading “Bartiromo Innuendo” Shafer starts: “A well-lawyered newspaper distinguishes itself by the way it writes around something.” The subject is a corporate shake-up at Citigroup and the picture of CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo give us an immediate idea of what it all about.
Shafer examines Wall Street Journal coverage and writes: “This is the sort of copy a clever lawyer directs reporters to write when they “know” something but can’t prove it. Leave it to the reader to assemble the meaning of the facts in their minds, the wise libel attorney tells his clients.”
Thanks to Martin Stabe for pointing to this article.