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TVRA 7713 Media and Communication History and Regulation (Reile): Libel

OER for Dr. Wiebke Reile's course.

Assigned readings need to be done BEFORE class
During class you will be expected to discuss the assigned readings.

New York Times vs. Sullivan

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, legal case in which, on March 9, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (9–0) that, for a libel suit to be successful, the complainant must prove that the offending statement was made with “ ‘actual malice’—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” Specifically, the case involved an advertisement that appeared in The New York Times in March 1960 that outlined how African Americans had been oppressed and that asked readers to contribute money to the struggle to end racial segregation in the South.

Citation: Urofsky, Melvin I., New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (2019, Mar. 2) In Encyclopedia Britannica online Retrieved from

Libel: Establishing a Case and New York Times Vs. Sullivan

Assigned Readings:

Additional Resource

Audio Files

Hear the actual oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court on January 6 and 7, 1964, for New York Times Company v. Sullivan Oral Argument. The site has a full, searchable transcript for each day.

PDF version of Readings

Libel: Proof of Fault/ Post Sullivan/ Defense and Damages

Assigned Readings:

PDF version of Readings