Best Lawyers for Defamation and Media Law in Australia

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Practice Area Definition

Defamation and Media Law Definition

At a general level, ‘media law’ may refer to the framework of rules and regulations that control or impact upon the way that ‘the media’ operates. ‘The media’ has traditionally been understood as referring to publishers of print media, such as newspapers and magazines, or broadcasters of television and radio, but today also includes publishers of digital material via the Internet and social media. Media law practitioners assist media organisations by providing pre-publication advice on the risks involved in publication, as well as addressing post-publication issues including complaints and litigation. They also provide advice on regulatory compliance and commercial issues specific to the media. 

Media organisations seek advice and assistance from media lawyers in relation to the range of laws which regulate their otherwise unfettered right to freedom of expression. Suppression orders issued by courts limit the ability of the media to report criminal and civil proceedings. There is an array of state and commonwealth statutory restrictions on the reporting of certain court and tribunal proceedings, such as family court matters, or the identification of certain persons in proceedings, such as children or victims of sexual offences. The law of sub judice contempt seeks to prevent interference with the administration of justice by imposing constraints upon the publication of material that is likely to influence or prejudice pending criminal or civil proceedings. Laws concerning breach of confidence and the fast developing area of privacy are increasingly intersecting with the business of the media. 

Media law also may refer to legislation that regulates broadcasting (including television and radio licences) and the control and ownership of media organisations. It also encompasses commercial issues such as content rights and distribution. 

Defamation law impacts not only upon major media organisations in their news reporting, but all publishers including the ever-increasing number of voices on the Internet and social media. Through the common law and uniform statutory provisions, defamation law aims to strike a balance between free speech and the right to protection of reputation. It seeks to do that by providing a plaintiff who contends that a publication has harmed his or her reputation with a cause of action against the publisher for damages and injunctive relief. There are a number of possible defenses open to a publisher facing such a claim, including that the substance of the published material was true, an expression of honestly held opinion, or that the material was published on an occasion of privilege.

Banki Haddock Fiora

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At a general level, ‘media law’ may refer to the framework of rules and regulations that control or impact upon the way that ‘the media’ operates. ‘The media’ has traditionally been understood as referring to publishers of print media, such as newspapers and magazines, or broadcasters of television and radio, but today also includes publishers of digital material via the Internet and social media. Media law practitioners assist media organisations by providing pre-publication advice on the risks involved in publication, as well as addressing post-publication issues including complaints and litigation. They also provide advice on regulatory compliance and commercial issues specific to the media. 

Media organisations seek advice and assistance from media lawyers in relation to the range of laws which regulate their otherwise unfettered right to freedom of expression. Suppression orders issued by courts limit the ability of the media to report criminal and civil proceedings. There is an array of state and commonwealth statutory restrictions on the reporting of certain court and tribunal proceedings, such as family court matters, or the identification of certain persons in proceedings, such as children or victims of sexual offences. The law of sub judice contempt seeks to prevent interference with the administration of justice by imposing constraints upon the publication of material that is likely to influence or prejudice pending criminal or civil proceedings. Laws concerning breach of confidence and the fast developing area of privacy are increasingly intersecting with the business of the media. 

Media law also may refer to legislation that regulates broadcasting (including television and radio licences) and the control and ownership of media organisations. It also encompasses commercial issues such as content rights and distribution. 

Defamation law impacts not only upon major media organisations in their news reporting, but all publishers including the ever-increasing number of voices on the Internet and social media. Through the common law and uniform statutory provisions, defamation law aims to strike a balance between free speech and the right to protection of reputation. It seeks to do that by providing a plaintiff who contends that a publication has harmed his or her reputation with a cause of action against the publisher for damages and injunctive relief. There are a number of possible defenses open to a publisher facing such a claim, including that the substance of the published material was true, an expression of honestly held opinion, or that the material was published on an occasion of privilege.