Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New Hampshire

My son is on a varsity high school hockey team. A recent game got very ugly and there was a lot of penalties. A report wrote about this game in the local newspaper and wrote very negative comments about the kids (some minors 15-16) on our team. He wrote their full names and what they did for a penalty. He did not get the approval of the coach, child or parents to write such slander in his paper. Some of the information was incorrect. My question is it ok to write a slanderous article about kids on a sports team and name names, again some of the kids that was written about are 15 and 16 years old.

Asked on 3/07/11, 3:25 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Myers Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers

You yourself wrote that the game got very ugly and that there were penalties, and so in a free society with respect for a free press a newspaper has every right to print the observations of its reporter at this public event. Newspapers and electronic media have no requirement to ask permission to report the facts. To the extent that certain information may not have been accurate, there is no defamation unless information was negligently published that caused harm, and so to characterize the article as slanderous is incorrect absent additional facts. The newspaper has done nothing wrong to publish observations of its reporter.

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Answered on 3/10/11, 3:37 am

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