With this assignment, the class was required to use five references in researching and writing an article about the similarities and differences of the media lawsuit terms libel, slander, defamation, and privacy. We were also tasked with finding actual court cases of lawsuits that have been successfully heard in the U.S. judicial system. In my opinion, this was one of the best assignments of the class because it taught that there are real-world consequences for shoddy journalism practices.
The information that I learned during this assignment was very enlightening for me as a writer. I have heard these terms in the news throughout the years and while I had a general knowledge of what they meant, the information I learned researching the sources for this assignment really brought home the fact that as a writer (or speaker) I have to be very cognizant of sticking to the facts and being respectful of other people’s privacy. Without complete fact verification and obtaining consent from my subjects, I could be vulnerable to a lawsuit. That’s something I do not want to experience!