…the problem for journalists is that it can be used against them when public figures and celebrities want to stop media scrutiny
Although the judgment has declined to find newspaper managements guilty of contempt, it has settled 4 questions of law which will have far reaching implications for journalists and newspapers in India.
BY PRASHANT THIKKAVARAPU| IN JUDGEMENTS |06/06/2017
A High Court judge says an apology for defamation is often better than damages. The argument is intriguing, but flawed.
Justice Endlaw fell back on a far-reaching principle rather than jurisdiction to dismiss the case before him,
It falls for the specious arguments put forward for a media gag by three lawyers accused of sexual harassment.
But the case shows how contempt is misused by the courts to crush critical reports quickly while the final ruling takes years to come.
In their Udta Punjab and Perumal Murugan rulings, the courts missed an opportunity to lay down some fundamental principles
IN JUDGEMENTS |21/06/2016
Twenty-two years…18 years…that is how long the courts take to settle defamation cases which are becoming increasingly routine and frivolous.
The central flaw in Justice Dipak Misra’s criminal defamation ruling is equating right to reputation with right to free speech as a fundamental right.
Three policemen guilty of killing two innocent persons in 1997 sued Zee for defamation. They have won. Is this a flawed judgement?
Subscribe To The Newsletter
The back story of the huge apology notice published by the Hindustan Times on September 18 (see this Hoot brief) is to be found in the record of sittings of the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha. The apology was published three days after the last sitting to which the editor of HT was summoned. The notice given by  Andhra Pradesh MP Jithender Reddy was taken up five times by the Committee  between July end and September 15. This too has fed into the wide ranging speculation over the reason for the resignation of the current editor of the paper, Aparisim Ghosh.                       

Did it really take the Hindustan Times almost six months to figure out that it had got the figures on the attendance  in Parliament of certain MPs, wrong? Or is there more to why it carried a front page apology covering half the page on September 18? It said, "In the edition of March 24, 2017, we had, because of a technical glitch, erroneously reported the attendance in Parliament of certain MPs. Below are the accurate figures. Hindustan Times offers an unconditional apology, and deeply regrets any offence or inconvenience caused." Of the seven MPs whom it said had 100 per cent attendance  not one had it, the paper listed six other names for this statistic. And the list of those whom it said had the worst attendance in Parliament is headed by Abhijeet Mukherjee, the former President's son, who in fact has a figure of 97 per cent attendance.                                    

View More

The Washington Post  is rolling out Talk  a new commenting system that will allow the paper to better engage with readers who comment on its stories and help promote civil conversations. The software was developed by the Coral Project, a collaboration between The Post, the NYT and Mozilla, funded by a grant from the  Knight Foundation. The Post will integrate Talk with ModBot, its AI-powered comment moderation technology.                                                                         

Propublica has built a  Facebook bot which is a tiny computer program that automatically converses with you over Facebook Messenger to determine you experiences with reporting hate speech on Facebook. Its says its objective is to learn more about Facebook’s secret censorship rules and what the social media determines is hate speech. (Nieman Lab)                                       
View More