Importance Of Legal Considerations In Profession Practices : Defamation

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Question :

Q. Compare and contrast two case studies in communication (PR, journalism, media production, etc) for what they tell us about the impotance of legal considerations to professional practice.

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Answer :


Defamation is an act of loss of one’s fame and name injuring the position and reputation due to false projection of image, false articulation of news, ridicule and mockery. Defamation leads to ridicule of self-image and lowering of self-esteem. It is important for the individual who are charged of defamation to gave clear insight into the matter and provide temporary relief in sensitive manner addressing the faults that they have been charged for. The understanding do not entitle the controversial defamation creating new stories but results in scandal-gossip degrading and damaging the existing profile while adhering to future losses. The paper attempts to study the case study Mr. Palmer and Rebel Wilson who are charged against defamation leading to financial and civil loss. The paper discusses and compares the case studies and recommends in finding appropriate solutions of defamation while emphasizing on the learning of law, legal and ethical consideration towards deeper understanding. 

Defamation laws and actions:

According to the US media, the media has freer culture where the publishers are given freedom of communication and articulation resulting in free-expression utopia. According to the defamation Act, defamation is stated as slander or libel that is divided into few stages entailing interpretation, broadcast, pleading, apology, mitigation, payment, verdict of jury, justification, environment, consolidation, separate verdicts, apportionment of costs, privileged report, report of court proceedings and amendments. Defamation is a long process that needs to be done under the supervision of lawyers (Macagno, 2016). In accordance to the cases, both the individual need to file complaint against the defamation as an Act Respecting Defamation can initially be processed using public meeting or bona fide that need to have both the parties held at lawful purpose. In the case of Rebel Wilson, she and the charged media need to be brought for discussion relating the public concern and the attainment of resolution need to be treated as publication in permanence where the wrongful news need to recorded and published limiting the defamation of Wilson with an apology statement in the process mitigating the damages (Macagno, 2016)

Media practitioners and defamation: 

Media practitioners and journalist need to be aware of the Act of Defamation. Without any understanding and learning one will not be able to have tackle the cases that has been filed. According to Section 180(1) that refer to the Penal Code Act, the party who is guilty of charge need to be penalised exposing hatreds, wrong information, damage of position of an individual with (Macagno, 2016). He is to be given an apology statement, the source and reason of discontentment at the initial stage. In severe stages one is either suspended or terminated of his existing position. The basic requirement for the practitioner is to fill up the form, of justification and discontentment while providing statement of justification that is to be provided to the law court under the supervision and assessment of the defamed individual (Hall and Malanga, 2017)

Legal and ethical issues in media: 

The work of media is to execute the news in the different domain providing a scope of generating knowledge and learning to the audience regarding the ongoing in the concerned domain. Media is wherever one of the important element of mass communication that bridges indirect source of communication allowing the passing of information of the key personnel  in different domain like news, cinema, politics and society to the audience. The communication being indirect, therefore there is no solving of doubts or questions (Egozi, 2016). The information provided by the media is considered to be right therefore even wrong acts and information is considered right as rightly articulated or published by the media. Such wrongful practise will harm the personnel concerned or the company and deliver incorrect information agitating the audience against the target (Egozi, 2016). Therefore, every media company need to address and follow the legal and ethical consideration in carrying out positive attitude and rightful acts towards communication. It is important for the media channel to have proper knowledge regarding the operations of an individual or company when they are addressing or interviewing so that they are aware of the exactitude of information (Hall and Malanga, 2017)

Following is to report what they have presented and recorded and verify them. The next step is to verify the guidelines and have discussions regarding obligations. Personal information and stories need not be published or presented that will hurt the sentiment and affect the image (Todd, 2016).  However, the media practitioners need to have communication and coordination between the reporter, publisher, editor so that there is no irregularity of information and be aware of Human Rights and Equality laws and defamation laws and ea mine the code of practice. Under any violation, media is to be charged of defamation which results in sacking of job, illegal practices, criminal activities and image reduction (Hall and Malanga, 2017).


Compare and contrast of case studies in communication evaluating importance of legal considerations to professional practice- 

The defamation is the action to damage the reputation of a person or a group of person. There are many celebrity people who are defamed by the media that hampered their reputation. In this context, those people are associated with negative reputation by the media that hampers their work and career (Todd, 2016). A number of cases are filed against different media channels for damaging someone's reputation. A number of laws has been created by different countries in order to protect people against defamation cases. The defamation law assumes that all the people are good in character until or unless the opposite thing is proved.

It is witnessed by administrators that Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel need to e liquidated. It is observed that the creditors are to vote whether Nickel will be liquidated only after the recommendation of the administrators. The company has been attacked against legal authority and the ways it has unable to conduct its operations without considering the legal factors. The company owes to its sacked employees of an account of $74million and the possibility of non-payment of the acres bought from QN bank account. The vintage cars that were purchased were not paid the amount that was charged against the company. The FTI who were consulting and investigating the matter has examined that there is a possible of breach in relation to fiduciary and conformity to law duties. However, Mr. Palmer and his nephew have been charged for their reckless outlook. As seen that the company owes considerate amount to the employees so when there is a vote appeal and is raised for liquidation then it is estimated that the employees will need fifty eight percent of the money. 

It said that the employee Mensink owes more than $270,000 in maintaining employees while there are more than $2 million that are to be paid by Palmer against loans. It is therefore beneficial for the company in winding up with so much of debts filed against it. According to the news, Palmer has accepted that he was entitled towards millions of dollars before he became the director of Queensland. It was attempted by Palmer of acting as shadow direction to QN during material times until the date of his appointment of director. He was entitled with the power and authority in marinating the decisions and planning of Queensland Nickel. According to the report, it is observed that Palmer was given $15 million and the vintage cars that were bought were found at Palmer’s Coolum Resort near Motorama Museum. When the payment was made by for Titanic II project, around $ 2 million went to the Palmer United Party. It is important for Palmer to either withdraw and liquidate its existing privileges and make his decisions without delaying the entitlements. According to him, it has been misreported by the press and media disrupting the voluntary actions. 

In the case of Rebel Wilson, the Bauer media published some stories that hampers the reputation of that actress. According to different articles published by Bauer media, Rebel Wilson spread fake news about her in order to climb the ladder of the Hollywood. As stated by Bauer media, Rebel Wilson told lie about her age, childhood, friends and others to get a reputable place in Hollywood. This type of articles impacted negatively on the career of Rebel Wilson and the actress got sacked from two films such as Kung Fu Panda and Trolls. The personal life of the actress is also affected negatively in this case. The actress got depressed because of the downturn in her career and reputation. A number of people in the Hollywood industry get negative reputation on the actress and for this reason, she was unable to get new films for a range of time. The actress filed a lawsuit against the Bauer media and she won the case after a long judicial activities. Wilson gets about $4.5 million as the defamation payout from Bauer media. 

In both the cases individuals who are charged of defamation need to seek defamation laws and legal practices in winning over losses and covering the tribunals while militating against the loss. Defamation has caused them financial and civil damages and in the course work has affected. 

In the both cases, the reputation of the a person was hampered by the media or a consulting organization. In the case of Rebel Wilson, the charges against was wrong and for this reason, she get the proper support from the law and also from her fans, which is helpful for her to win the case. Bauer media could not provide proper evidence against Wilson in order to prove their point in which Wilson fake her personal life and others to get a reputed position in the Hollywood. However, the Wilson haven't told lie about her own self and she provided proper evidence to prove her point and details about her personal life. This is helpful for Wilson to win the case the Bauer media needs to provide defamation payout in this process. In this process, assumptions of law are correct and Wilson proved her truthfulness with proper evidence. 

This type of punishment is needed for the media in order to reduce amount of this type of cases. A number organization in media tries to make story on the a person to capture huge amount of readers or viewers. The media always try to capture celebrity who has not much popularity among the society. People have lesser idea about the life of those lesser known celebrities and for this reason, if media tell anything about that celebrity, then people can trust it without hesitation. A number of people do not measure the truthfulness of a story spread by a media and for this reason, there reputation of the lesser known celebrity becomes hampered easily. The media channels get high viewer or traffic in this process, which is helpful to enhance their profitability. Mostly lesser known media channels are associated with this type of cases in order to enhance their viewer. However, this type of activities can affect the career or personal life of the celebrity negatively. 

However, in the second case, the charges against the Clive Palmers are true and it was proved by FTI consulting with proper evidence. The organization named Townsville sacked a lot of employees without giving them salaries which was almost $74 million. Clive Palmer spent the money in different other activities such as purchasing vintage car and transferring money to a number of other entities. Therefore, Clive Palmer used the money of the organization for his personal profitability without providing proper salaries to the employees. The charges against the Clive Palmer were true and for this reason, he needs to liquidate the who money in order to provide salaries to the sacked employees. The charges of FTI consulting defame the reputation for Clive Palmer but the truthfulness of the charges and proper evidence helps FTI consulting to win. 

Compared to the defamation case of Rebel Wilson, Clive Palmer is the guilty in this process and for this reason, the assumption of law was not true about the characteristics about the suspect. That is because, Clive Palmer cannot provide evidence for his support and on the other hand, FTI consulting investigate the whole process vary from the root in order to find out proper evidence. 

In the case of Wilson, the Bauer media is the guilty because, the organization could not investigate the life of Wilson before publish something negative about her. The organization might not get root of her life and publish something which is very irrivalent that seriously hamper the reputation of a actress like Wilson and it also can hamper her career. In this defamation case, the defamation activity hampers the reputation of a person who was not guilty for her activities. 

On the other hand, FTI consulting investigate properly before publish something negative about an organization. Proper investigation of FTI consulting is helpful to find out the fact about the organization of Clive Palmer. The report was published based on proper evidence and for this reason, Clive Palmer cannot show anything against it to prove FTI consulting wrong. Clive Palmer is guilty in this process and the number of employees, who could not get the salaries, support the report of FTI consulting. Therefore, the punishment is associated on Clive Palmer and he needs to liquidate the money in order to provide salaries of the employees who were sacked. This type of defamation case hampers the reputation of a person who is seriously guilty for his activities. 


In the both case studies, the different types of defamation cases are shown and the consequences of both cases are different. In the case of Wilson, the Bauer media was published several articles about the actress like Wilson that hampered her reputation. Bauer media told that Wilson fake her way to get a respected position in the Hollywood and to get good jobs in the industry. However, the charges against Wilson was not true  and for this reason, Bauer media could not provide proper evidence to prove their point about the truthfulness of their charges. On the other hand, Wilson was not guilty and for this reason, she provided effective evidence against the charges and won the case. Bauer media need to pay high amount to Wilson, which is effective to restrict that channel to repeat this type of work. Not only Bauer media, any other media channel can take this as example and prevent them to hamper any other person’s reputation without any reason. In the case of Clive Palmer, the report of FTI consulting was hampered the reputation of the Palmer and the organisation named Townsville refinery. In this case, FTI consulting investigated the whole case properly and make the report with correct evidence. This is helpful for the organisation to prove their point and make Clive Palmer guilty. Clive Palmer needs to liquidate the asset in order to pay the salaries of the sacked employees in this case. This case of defamation can be example for business organisations in order to prevent them from doing any unethical activities.