Investigative journalist Bruce Page assesses calls for libel law reform and finds that they might be misguided, in his view.
“Journalism is intended to be harmful and journalists who don’t like risk should go elsewhere.”
One of the problems is that journalism spends too much time on “insubstantial doomsday scenarios” and not enough developing knowledge to expose “self-defamatory” claims, in science for example.
Making it easier for nervous people to publish accusations isn’t going to change any of that. Lawsuit economics still give excessive advantage to wealth and power. Introducing no-win-no-fee litigation has reduced that old abuse – and brought some fresh ones into play. Let’s reform them. But the law itself isn’t broke. Don’t fix it.