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Convergent Journalism: An Introduction, 2nd Edition by Vincent F. Filak

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12

The Law and Convergent Journalism

Daxton R. “Chip” Stewart

Introduction

As technological changes redefine and disrupt the practice of journalism, one thing remains constant: Every time you publish something, you take on the risk of being legally responsible for any harm you cause.

Journalists can cause harm in a number of ways: Defamation, invasion of privacy and infringement of intellectual property rights to name a few. These potential risks – and some tips on how to avoid them – are the focus of this chapter.

The law is not all about danger zones and liability for journalists. American law enables widespread freedom to publish through the First Amendment’s guarantees that largely protect speech and press from government interference. Similarly, ...

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