Montana Legal Questions - Ask a queston

Does the first amendment protect news media and others from slander or libel?

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June 23, 2011, 9:52 am

Slander (spoken defamation) and Libel (written defamation) are not protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

News media are just as liable for defamation claims as any other citizen.

One possible exception exists, however, in the case of "public figures." If a public figure sues for defamation, he will usually be required to prove "actual malice," as opposed to simple negligence.

An interesting discussion of this law can be found at:

If you have been charged with defamation, or if you think you have been the victim of defamation, you are best advised to discuss this matter further with a lawyer.

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