Taking a Look at Defamation

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In order to avoid defamation you need to understand it. The aim of this document is to explain what is defamation and what constitute as a defamatory material. It also outlines how defamatory material should be dealt with.

Defamation is a set of laws that protect people from getting their reputation injured. It is there to balance the right of citizens to protect their reputations with the democratic right to the community to freedom of expression (Media law Book polden and pearson). It offers remedies to aggrieved persons and offers defences to those accused of producing the defamatory material.

According to pearson and polden the common law definition have taken three forms, framing defamatory material as a matter that;

• exposing the victim the victim to haterad, contempt or ridicule
• lower a person in the estimate of right thinking members of society generally
• cause person to be shunned or avoided

To defame someone you don’t have to make up the false accusations yourself. You can defame a person by quoting someone else and it’s a false defence if you claim you were only quoiting someone else. (The news manual book of readings). When someone brings a defamation case to the courts they must prove the following:

Imputation – Material published cannot have hidden meanings, but are judged by the words and what reasonable people make of it when reading he material. this means that readers don't have to read between the lines to get
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