Truth and facts are important everywhere, especially in publishing.
However, no matter what the legal and constitutional issues are with libel and slander, or the burden of proof for the person that sues, fending off a lawsuit costs a lot of time and money, even if you did nothing but report what you think are the facts.
The blogger that is being sued already lost his job because of the issue.
A former editor of mine said, “There are always more than two sides to a story.” You better know them before you publish.
If you aren’t a media company with a staff of lawyers, and don’t have an editor and fact checkers to check your work, it’s really important to be careful… and sometimes it’s not even worth saying something negative or bringing up a fact you are not 100% sure of.
In addition, since we are responsible for creating, moderating, (and deleting if necessary) our own posts, you have to be careful about what other people comment on a post or blog you start. You may need to fact check, edit, or delete their comments (since you are the publisher). This is a gray area that I don’t believe has been sorted out in the law and courts yet.
So before you blog, post, or accept someone’s comments, think about what is said and the consequences. Sometimes, as your mother taught you, it might just be better to not say it at all.
See the story below:
Click Here To See the Media Report (CBS4 in Miami)