Prof. Kirtley Quoted on Reconciling Media Ethics and Law in Libel Cases

Professor Jane Kirtley discussed the risks of conflating media ethics standards with legal obligations in the Spring 2015 issue of The News Media and the Law. She pointed out that because journalism is protected by the First Amendment and is not a regulated profession, "this is not a distinction without a difference. I really think it's important to keep the line between law and ethics very firmly drawn." Kirtley added that although external reviews of journalistic missteps, such as Rolling Stone's discredited article about sexual assault on the University of Virginia campus, can be valuable, it is the responsibility of media defense lawyers to persuade judges and juries that journalism ethics codes are not legally relevant in libel cases.