In The News

News - 2015

June. 2015

Howard Cooper Quoted in Article on Clash of Journalism Ethics and Libel Law

Howard M. Cooper was quoted in an article published in the Spring 2015 issue of The News Media and The Law concerning the clash between journalism ethics and libel law.

The article, written by Kimberly Chow and published by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, indicated that defamation lawsuits often involve evidence of unethical journalistic practices. Chow's article focuses on Rolling Stone's retraction of a story about rape at the University of Virginia, and a pending defamation case resulting from the Rolling Stone story.

Cooper, who has represented plaintiffs in several high-profile libel cases against the media, said he has often used the non-binding Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists to cross-examine reporters, particularly regarding the use of anonymous sources, as well as the ethical aspiration of reporters to care about the subject of their story and the impact the story will have on their lives.

He also said he uses reporters' noncompliance with the ethics code as "some evidence on issues of negligence and actual malice."