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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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Does your freelance author have an ax to grind

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 10:15


A Texas woman, Ms. Rosenthal, brought suit against D Magazine for libel alleging the magazine published a story that wrongly accused her of committing welfare fraud in an article titled “The Park Cities Welfare Queen.” The trial court denied the magazine’s motion to dismiss, and the Texas Court of Appeals recently affirmed that ruling.


Candidate’s big mouth leaves him empty handed

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 08:39


A United States Senate candidate filed a lawsuit against a Dallas newspaper alleging the newspaper published a statement that was defamatory in nature.


Seventy-year old grand jury materials are to be released

Monday, 17 August 2015 07:47


August of 1942 marks the first and only time in the history of the United States in which the federal government attempted to prosecute a major newspaper for allegedly violating the Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of classified information which was limited or restricted by the government for national security reasons. In 1942, the Tribune published a story “Navy Had Word Of Jap Plan to Strike At Sea,” which suggested that the Navy had detailed information regarding Japan’s plan to attack prior to the actual attack.


Bill Cosby’s prior deposition testimony must be unsealed

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 12:53


A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania has determined sealed deposition excerpts in a ten-year-old lawsuit against Bill Cosby must be unsealed and released to the public.


Actual malice standard protects statements about public officials

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 10:08


In 2012, a firearms analyst sued a newspaper, its editor, and several other employees.  The suit arose out of a newspaper article regarding analyst’s testimony in two trials.  The article, titled "SBI relies on bullet analysis that critics deride as unreliable," was part of a four-part series on failings in investigations.


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