RCFP: ‘Responsible journalism’ defence established in Canadian libel law

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) reports on two rulings at the end of 2009 that will help journalists’ freedom of speech in Canada.

[Two] rulings established a “responsible journalism” defence that protects reporters sued for libel whose stories were in the public interest […]

In the first case, The Toronto Star was saved from paying $1 million in punitive damages – one of the largest awards in Canadian libel history – over a story detailing controversial plans for a new golf course. In the other case, a $135,000 verdict against the Ottawa Citizen was overturned over a story about a former police officer who misrepresented himself at Ground Zero, The Globe and Mail reported.

Advocates say the two rulings effectively revamp Canadian libel law to protect reporters – and extends the same protection to internet journalists.

Full story at this link…

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