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Abstract

In general, plaintiffs’ ability to obtain substantial damages against media defendants is directly proportional to their ability to obtain so called “publication damages.”...In future cases, the courts may be forced to deal more straightforwardly with the First Amendment issues. In Sanders, the court avoided those issues because they were not raised. As a result, the court left open the possibility that, even in an intrusion case a media defendant might be allowed to show that the invasion of privacy was “justified by the legitimate motive of gathering the news.”...Moreover, the very existence of the litigation undoubtedly has a negative impact on the press’ willingness to report on matters of public interest. Litigation is costly and few media organizations want to become embroiled in extensive and continuing litigation. As a result, cases like Food Lion, Cohen and Sanders have the potential to limit press usage of overly aggressive forms of undercover reporting.

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