Communications 300 Lesson 4

20 Questions | Total Attempts: 166

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Communication Quizzes & Trivia

This is an exam from lesson 4. Communication 300


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    The term "a chilling effect" means that
    • A. 

      The news story a. gives readers the chills

    • B. 

      Threats of lawsuits or other punishments cause people to self-censor their own speech or writing

    • C. 

      Fear of press coverage and public discussion cause government officials and agencies to hide their actions

    • D. 

      Too much press coverage of an issue chills governmental effectiveness

  • 2. 
    Which of the following statements is not correct?
    • A. 

      Defamation is the publication of material that would tend to hold one up to hatred, ridicule, contempt, or spite.

    • B. 

      Libel law protects the reputational interests of individuals.

    • C. 

      Reputational rights are explicitly recognized by the Constitution.

    • D. 

      In addition to Constitutional law, state constitutions and common law play a role in libel law.

  • 3. 
    With regard to the falsity element of libel suits, which of the following statements is correct?
    • A. 

      Establishing truth of the statement is primarily part of the defense's case.

    • B. 

      Establishing the falsity of the statement is primarily part of the plaintiff's case

    • C. 

      If a statement is proven to be false, it need not be harmful to the plaintiff's reputation to be actionable.

    • D. 

      Before New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), the burden of proof to establish the falsity of a defamatory published statement was on the plaintiff.

  • 4. 
    True or False? There are some words that always are defamatory regardless of the context in which they were used.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 5. 
    With regard to the defamation element of libel suits, which of the following statements is not correct?
    • A. 

      Determining the defamatory nature of a statement hinges on whether the recipients of the statement would interpret the words to be defamatory

    • B. 

      It is enough that the communication would tend to prejudice the plaintiff in the eyes of a substantial and respectable minority of recipients

    • C. 

      It is not enough that the communication would tend to prejudice the plaintiff in the eyes of a very small group of persons

    • D. 

      Determining the defamatory nature of a statement hinges on whether the writers and publishers of the statement thought the words were defamatory.

  • 6. 
    With regard to libel suits, which of the following statements is not correct?
    • A. 

      In order to win a libel action, a plaintiff must prove that the defamation was of and concerning him or her.

    • B. 

      Plaintiffs can be identified by name, by photograph, and by membership in a small group.

    • C. 

      Plaintiffs can be defamed by publications about the activities of their family members

    • D. 

      In general, each person involved in the publication of defamatory material may be sued.

  • 7. 
    Which of the following statements is true?
    • A. 

      Accurate reporting and quoting of a defamatory statement that another person has said in a non-privileged context is an effective defense in libel law.

    • B. 

      There is no statute b. of limitations in libel law.

    • C. 

      The fault requirement that public officials and public figures are required to prove is negligence

    • D. 

      The actual malice rule originated in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964).

  • 8. 
    True or False? The actual malice rule means that a publication was written or printed with hatred, ill-will or spite.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 9. 
    The following is the best description of the rationale for the establishment of the actual malice rule:
    • A. 

      Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide open.

    • B. 

      Vehement, caustic, and sharp attacks, even on government and public officials, should not be part of public discourse.

    • C. 

      There is no chilling effect on speech caused by penalizing honest mistakes.

    • D. 

      Public officials, in deference to their position and to public trust, should be able to expect the press to treat them with heightened respect and with extra caution in their coverage of public issues

  • 10. 
    With regard to libel suits, the following is not true:
    • A. 

      The determination of knowledge of falsity rests on what the libel defendant knew at the time of publication

    • B. 

      Misquotation of a public figure cannot be libelous unless the wording materially changes the meaning of what was really said.

    • C. 

      Knowledge of falsity focuses on what the publisher should have known; reckless disregard focuses on what the publisher knew

    • D. 

      A publisher must be able to demonstrate reasonable belief in the published material.

  • 11. 
    True or False? If libel plaintiffs can prove they were identified in false, defamatory publications, and if they can prove the requisite degree of fault, they need not prove actual injury in order to recover damages.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 12. 
    Which of the following is not true in libel suits?
    • A. 

      The jury determines whether a plaintiff is a public official

    • B. 

      Unless private person libel plaintiffs are seeking presumed or punitive damages, states can determine the fault standard for private persons

    • C. 

      Most states have established negligence as the private-person fault standard.

    • D. 

      Libel actions are usually adjudicated in the place with the most significant relationship to the case

  • 13. 
    Which of the following is not true in libel suits?
    • A. 

      Actual malice must be shown with convincing clarity.

    • B. 

      Actual malice is the standard of fault for public figures

    • C. 

      A public official must establish that a defamatory statement was directed at the official's government unit, not at the official personally

    • D. 

      To be designated a public figure, a person must have widespread fame or notoriety, or must have voluntarily thrust himself or herself into a matter of public controversy for the purpose of influencing the outcome of that controversy

  • 14. 
    Which of the following is true in libel suits?
    • A. 

      Being in the public eye and being a public figure are the same.

    • B. 

      Private figures can be made public figures by bootstrapping

    • C. 

      The proper question in establishing a person's private figure status is not whether the plaintiff volunteered for the publicity, but whether the plaintiff volunteered for an activity from which publicity would foreseeably arise.

    • D. 

      Being voluntarily part of a public sphere or profession does not satisfy a court's public figure requirements.

  • 15. 
    True or False? Statements of pure opinion (which cannot be proved true or false) are protected by the First Amendment.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 16. 
    Which of the following is NOT representative of the 4-part Ollman test that distinguishes opinion from fact?
    • A. 

      The inquiry must analyze the common usage or meaning of the words.

    • B. 

      Is the statement verifiable? (Can it be proven either true or false?)

    • C. 

      What is the meaning of the statement when taken out of context? (Journalistic context doesn't matter in distinguishing fact from opinion. Only the actual words of the statement, standing alone, can be considered.)

    • D. 

      What is the broader social context into which the statement fits?

  • 17. 
    True or False? Fair comment and criticism is a Constitutional (First Amendment) defense that protects critics from lawsuits brought by individuals in the public eye
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 18. 
    Which of the following is true in libel cases?
    • A. 

      Defendants must demonstrate that a defamatory statement is completely true in order to maintain the truth defense.

    • B. 

      Substantial truth, as opposed to complete truth, is sufficient to maintain the truth defense

    • C. 

      A broadcaster's skeptical tone of voice is sufficient to defeat the truth defense.

    • D. 

      Truth is not a complete defense in cases with media defendants.

  • 19. 
    Which of the following is true in libel cases?
    • A. 

      Absolute privilege is the privilege of the reporter

    • B. 

      Qualified privilege is the privilege of the speaker

    • C. 

      The fair report privilege protects media reports of official government actions, regardless of possible defamatory elements in those reports.

    • D. 

      The fair report privilege covers officials and proceedings in the executive and judicial branches of state and federal governments, but not in legislative branches.

  • 20. 
    Which of the following is true in libel cases?
    • A. 

      Letters to the editor usually are considered to be statements of fact.

    • B. 

      The wire service defense holds that the accurate republication of a story provided by a reputable news agency does not constitute fault as a matter of law

    • C. 

      According to the CDA, providers of interactive computer services (such as AOL) can be treated as publishers of defamatory information provided by entities other than the provider (so thus are liable for the libels published by those entities).

    • D. 

      Judges sometimes grant summary judgments to plaintiffs if they can't prove actual malice.