Every year or so, journalists find themselves on the wrong end of a court ruling, usually in cases alleging libel, invasion of privacy, or similar torts. After a news organization suffers its defeat, dire predictions appear in the very newspapers and magazines and on the very broadcast stations owned by the defeated parties.
The complaints are predictable: This court decision will be the end of news gathering as we have known it. The court has misread the law, has trampled on the special First Amendment rights of reporters and editors. As a result, readers and viewers will be less well-informed. Don’t blame us, though. Blame the misguided judges, petty plaintiffs, and greedy plaintiffs’ lawyers for this travesty.