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Newsroom Alert


Doug Pierce

Newsroom Alert provides you with the latest updates in First Amendment and other legal issues related to news gathering and reporting, including reviews of recent state and federal court decisions.  Some of the many topics include libel, copyright, privacy, and access to records and meetings.

Doug Pierce is a Partner at King & Ballow. He also serves as General Counsel for the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and President of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.  He is a frequent writer on legal issues related to newsroom topics; he co-authors portions of the Media Law Resource Center’s annual 50 state surveys for Libel and Privacy.

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South Carolina appeals court upholds jury’s award in lobbyist’s defamation case

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 09:18


The jury’s verdicts against a reporter and a newspaper publisher in a defamation case stands, a South Carolina court of appeals ruled last month.


Newspaper sued over why son committed suicide

Friday, 12 February 2016 11:00


This case arises out of a sad set of facts. A healthy, popular, athletic 16 year old boy who had no history of mental illness was involved in a car accident. After he made it home from the accident, he began consuming alcohol. A concerned friend went to the home of the boy’s parents to find the son dazed, confused, irrational and incoherent. The son then shot himself in the head. 


More than just opinion required for a valid claim

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:03


Founding member of the rock band “Boston,” Tom Scholtz, sued a newspaper and two of its columnists for libel alleging the newspaper published three stories in its entertainment news column, “Inside Track,” that wrongfully suggested he was responsible for former lead singer, Brad Delp’s suicide.



Some Virginia execution documents will be made public

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 09:04


Virginia Department of Corrections’ documents related to prisoner executions have been held not subject to Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, as the release of the requested documents could jeopardize the safety of a government facility.


News station not liable for airing footage it agreed it would not air

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 10:46


A husband and wife sued an Oregon television station and reporter for showing  the husband on a morning broadcast, despite being promised his likeness would not be aired.


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