- The following elements are needed for a defamation claim.- The statement must be false.
– It must be a statement of fact, i.e not an opinion.
– It has to be published to someone, other than the plaintiff.
– It has to be about a specific person or entity.
– It has to cause the plaintiff harm
– In the U.S, the burden of proof for these elements is on the plaintiff.
- If someone gives you their username and password to use on their company’s website, you absolutely should not attempt to do that because it’s illegal and the other person becomes responsible for your action. It also falls under the category of pretending to be someone you’re not which is not only illegal, but unethical for a journalist.
- You should give the subject of your story as much time as possible under the circumstances to comment. However you should not sacrifice your deadline in the interest of getting the comment or response for the piece. One shouldn’t allow the source to exert control or feel like they can influence how and when the story is published.
- There is no rule on reading back quotes to a source, it is a personal preference for each reporter. However if you do it, it is advisable to do it right at the end of the interview so that you can clarify your story at that instant and also not do it later when the source might have remorse over what they said or try to change their quote.