Megalomedia: Libel free since 2003
Granted, the site didn't exist until 2005, but 2003 rhymed better. But wow, let's talk libel. As I've explained on this site before, Canada has some pretty strict rules on libel. You can not link someone to a crime, no matter what the police or anyone else says. You can report that someone has been charged with something, and you can report the details of a police investigation, but you can't link the two yourself. It seems silly, as any logical person would probably make the connection, but in Canadian law, that's their problem, not yours. In the interest of not libeling the poor man myself, I will simply link to the stories. I have no idea where that puts me legally, but I'm pretty sure nobody's coming after me. Globe and Mail. They libel him right in the lead. See if you can spot it. National Post. This one isn't as cut and dry, but there's some serious inneundo going on there. CBC. It's right in the headline. I'm not going to profess to know everything about media law, I'll leave that to TKOB in the comments section, but I know these reports are irresponsible. The guy has not been convicted. In the eyes of the Canadian legal system he is innocent. And in the eyes of Canadian libel law, these media reports, specifically the Globe and CBC, are libelous. Canada needs a good, high-profile libel suit to take the media down a few pegs. The problem is that the press has created a really powerful environment wherein any attack on a journalist is an attack on the freedom of the press. People don't want to take them on, and I can't really blame them. But the situation is getting out of hand. Why use 500 words when 200 will almost suffice? So the Globe ran an interesting little piece today, have a look-see here. It left me with a few questions, namely: 1) What sort of information, exactly? 2) Are Canadians returning the favour? 3) Why was this reported on by the U.S.-based Associated Press? 4) Why didn't a single Canadian outlet bother assigning a reporter to this? Seriously, they say that names will be provided. Will there be any context, or will this lead to more cases of mistaken identity that ground flights or prevent travellers from flying? What system does Canada have in place anyway? Last I heard the whole thing was in a bit of a flux. I guess the Globe deserves some credit for reporting it at all, but I really want to know more. And I don't think I'm alone. Given the concerns about information-sharing agreements these days, Canadians deserve a bit more context. And as a fun little kicker. . . I have to say that I read this and nearly shit my pants. Pay special attention to the headline and paragraph seven (as though I had to point that out). Apparently the Toronto Sun's editorial page is now reserved for transcripts from chat rooms. Stay tuned for tomorrow's hard-hitting ANY 16/F WANNA CHAT??? expose.