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Defamation in the Media

Aggressive Defense from Defamation in the Media

Virginia Beach attorneys advocate for your accurate portrayal in the news

Because television, Internet news sites, radio, newspapers and magazines have the power to disseminate information to large audiences in distant locations, these modes for transmitting news have altered the course of major world events. They have also caused significant damage to victims who have watched or listened helplessly as untruthful, denigrating statements about them were released.

Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law was founded in 1980 in Virginia Beach with the mission of achieving justice for those harmed by defamation. Our attorneys know firsthand the value of upholding our positive reputation in our community. We are passionate and aggressive advocates if the media has acted in a manner that jeopardizes your good name.

First Amendment protection of freedom of the press

The First Amendment protects the freedom of the press to report the news without fear of retribution if others do not approve of the release of inflammatory information. After all, the news media often make truthful, yet scathing, comments about public figures, celebrities, newsmakers, businesspeople and corporations. The media’s role is to report on the news, no matter how unpleasant and incendiary. The Constitutional rights to freedom of the press — which is really the same as freedom of speech exercised by journalists and media outlets — in essence protect our right to know the truth.

Just as with freedom of speech, freedom of the press does not protect the actions of a media outlet that publishes information with reckless disregard for the truth. Journalists are responsible for checking sources for reliability and reviewing the facts for accuracy. Failure to do so may result in a defamation claim.

Standards of proof for public and private figures

Your status as a private or public figure affects the standard of proof required for you to prevail on a media defamation claim. Public figures must prove actual malice — meaning the media outlet printed, transmitted or broadcasted the information with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard about whether it was false. Private figures need only demonstrate that the defendant journalist was negligent or at fault for publishing false, defamatory information.

Blogs, Internet forums and social media platforms

Blogs, Internet chat rooms, Internet video sites and social media platforms allow people to express their opinions to a wide audience across the globe. Some of these sites have become forums for amateur journalists and photojournalists to post the daily news in their neighborhoods. As with mainstream media, these community-focused news sources enjoy First Amendment protection to report truthful facts. Just like major media sites, small blogs and social media reporting do not have a Constitutional right to defame. In addition, reporting a fact disguised as an opinion does not relieve them of the duty to ascertain the accuracy of their postings. Local sources may cause greater damage to your reputation than national and international media because their audience is your neighbors, coworkers, friends and family. Our Virginia social media lawyers defend you against defamation transmitted through such popular sites as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit.

Learn more about your rights against media defamation from our lawyers in Virginia Beach

To learn more about defending yourself from media defamation, call Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law at 757-215-4818 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Virginia State Bar Disclaimer
Every Legal Matter Is Different. The Outcome Of Each Legal Case Depends Upon Many Factors, Including The Facts Of The Case, And No Attorney Can Guarantee A Positive Result In Any Particular Case. The Outcome Of Every Case Will Depend On A Variety Of Factors Unique To Each Case And Case Results Depicted Here Do Not Guarantee Or Predict A Similar Result In Any Future Case.
Prior Cases
  • "Jury awards $3 million in wrongful death murder trial. "

  • "Jury awards $1,200,000 in legal malpractice case"

  • "Denton recognized for two of Virginia's top million dollar-plus verdicts "

  • "WAVY ordered to pay $1.2m for defaming couple "

  • "Student scores $5m jury verdict for libel"

  • "Federal jury awards event planners $600,000 each "

  • "Attorney, firm hit with $420,000 verdict"

Client Testimonials
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  • "Dear Mr. Awesome, Champion of the Underdog: No words seem adequate to the occasion. I am just thrilled for you and your very deserving clients. Congratulations! "

  • "It's nice to know that there are still people like you in this world that are not afraid to go against the grain of society and are willing to stick there neck out for somebody else because of their belief in that person. "

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