At the turn of the twentieth century, American journalists transmitted news across the country by telegraph. But what happened when these stories weren't true? In Bad News Travels Fast, Patrick C. File examines a series of libel cases by a handful of plaintiffsincluding socialites, businessmen, and Annie Oakleywho sued newspapers across the country for republishing false newswire reports. Through these cases, File demonstrates how law and technology intertwined to influence debates about reputation, privacy, and the acceptable limits of journalism.
This largely forgotten era in the development of American libel law provides crucial historical context for contemporary debates about the news media, public discourse, and the role of a free press. File argues that the legal thinking surrounding these cases laid the groundwork for the more friendly libel standards the press now enjoys and helped to establish today's regulations of press freedom amid the promise and peril of high-speed communication technology.
|Publisher:||University of Massachusetts Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Patrick C. File is an assistant professor at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 News in the Late Nineteenth Century: More and Faster 9
Chapter 2 Libel in the Nineteenth Century: Malice or Mistakes? 19
Chapter 3 The Smith and Rutherford Cases: The News as "A Wrong And Perilous System"? 35
Chapter 4 The Palmer Cases: The First Large-Scale Libel Syndicate 46
Chapter 5 The Oakley Cases: Libel and Celebrity 60
Chapter 6 Bad News and the Bad Tendency Test: The Limits of Libel Doctrine 71
Chapter 7 Retraction Statutes: An Alternate Route to Protection 82
What People are Saying About This
An important contribution to our understanding of the development of First Amendment law, with particular relevance to current debates about the role of journalism and legal protections for the press.
File's research is impressive, and Bad News Travels Fast makes an important contribution to understanding this 'forgotten period' of libel law.