TITLE

MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE TORT OF DEFAMATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW APPLYING THE COMMON LAW PERSPECTIVE

AUTHOR(S)
Ogwezzy, Michael C.
PUB. DATE
August 2012
SOURCE
Mustang Journal of Law & Legal Studies;2012, Issue 3, p83
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
All communicators must be aware of the tort of defamation. The threat of such an action is probably the most serious curb to media freedom in all democratically established nations in the world. The media must be alert of defamatory action at every stage of publishing or broadcasting process. Several factors make the risk of defamation action a particularly serious influence on the media because it is possible to commit the tort even where one is unaware that a person's reputation is affected by the communication in question. Every person in the chain of the communication may be sued for damages by the claimant. Each person or organisation cherished his reputation so where therefore there is an infraction on the reputation of any person or organisation in consequence of a false publication, such a person may sue for defamation. The justification for recognition of this tort therefore is this: The law in its wisdom insist that words which are capable of leaving a stain on the reputation of an individual or corporate entity should not in the absence of lawful excuse be uttered or published of, as regards such a person or corporation. For the journalist, the publisher and distributors of newspapers, indeed for anyone who earns his living with words, the law of defamation presents one of the greatest perils. The Law exist to protect the reputation of the individual both his moral and professional reputation form unjustified attack. Such an attack may be dealt with either as civil or as a criminal wrong. It is on this background that the author of this paper will examine the tort of defamation under Nigeria Law to see how it strikes a balance between the individual's right to have its reputation protected and freedom of speech, which implies the freedom to expose wrong doing and that may damage reputations resulting in civil wrong for which monetary damages may be claimed. It is right to state that this article made copious reference to examples and decided cases from different jurisdiction including Nigeria.
ACCESSION #
82860057

 

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