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Napoleon once said: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” While he did not have The Sun, News of the World, The Mail and The Sunday Times back then, Napoleon certainly understood the power of the media. Looking back at some of the treatment meted out by the Fourth Estate to some individuals and companies involved in litigation this year, it is easy to agree with him – at times a thousand bayonets would be preferable! Over the course of 2003, seemingly acres of newspaper coverage have been written about the all-too-often tawdry nature of high profile disputes between aggrieved parties.

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