Libel (a false and damaging statement made in writing or broadcast) and slander (a false and damaging statement made orally) are also considered intentional injuries. Both involve defamation, which is defined as a false statement made to at least one other person that damages the reputation of the person spoken about. Although you may read about multi-million dollar jury verdicts, these verdicts almost never stand up on appeal. The First Amendment makes it practically impossible for anyone but private individuals to collect for libel or slander. Journalists are free to say practically anything they want about public figures (politicians, entertainers, athletes) without legal liability.
Slander suits between private individuals are not often profitable. Damages are difficult to prove since insults rarely result in actual financial losses. Again, collecting on a judgment against a private individual is difficult. Practically speaking, the only defamation case worth pursuing would be if a journalist prints a fabrication about a private individual and that defamation caused provable financial harm. For example, if a newspaper falsely printed that an accountant was arrested for drug trafficking, that would be a case worth investigating.
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