In the Court of Appeals petitioner made an ingenious but unavailing attempt to show that respondent's defamatory charge against him concerned no issue of public or general interest. . . Mr. Justice WHITE asserts that our decision today 'trivializes and denigrates the interest in reputation,' Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S., at 262, 94 S.Ct., at 2842 (concurring opinion), that it 'scuttle(s) the libel laws of the States in . The state interest in compensating injury to the reputation of private individuals is therefore greater than for public officials and public figures. Pedrick, Freedom of the Press and the Law of Libel: The Modern Revised Translation, 49 Cornell L.Q. '7 But the Court frequently has rested state free speech and free press decisions on the Fourteenth Amendment generally8 rather than on the Due Process Clause alone. The article purports to demonstrate that the testimony against Nuccio at his criminal trial was false and that his prosecution was part of the Communist campaign against the police. 875, 938 (1956); Cal.Civ.Code § 48a(4)(d) (1954). Draft No. 75 5520 (article concerning family members of the victim of a highly publicized bridge disaster not actionable absent proof of actual malice); Porter v. Guam Publications, Inc., 475 F.2d 744, 745 (CA9 1973) (article concerning citizen's arrest for theft of a cash box considered an event of general or public interest); Cervantes v. Time, Inc., 464 F.2d 986, 991 (CA8 1972) (article concerning mayor and alleged organized crime connections conceded to be a matter of public or general concern); Firestone v. Time, Inc., 460 F.2d 712 (CA5 1972) (magazine article concerning prominent citizen's use of detectives and electronic surveillance in connection with a divorce); Davis v. National Broadcasting Co., 447 F.2d 981 (CA5 1971), aff'g 320 F.Supp. The observations in Part I of this opinion as to the current state of the law of defamation in the various States are partially based upon the Restatement of Torts, first published in 1938, and Tentative Drafts Nos. The press today is vigorous and robust. In fact, the Court observes that the First Amendment clearly protects from governmental restraint 'the exercise of editorial control and judgment,' i.e., '(t)he choice of material to go into a newspaper, and the decisions made as to limitations on the size and content of the paper, and treatment of public issues and public officials whether fair or unfair . That amendment, then, we may take it for granted, does not forbid the abridging of speech. Proof of the defamation itself established the fact of injury and the existence of some damage to the right of reputation, and the jury was permitted, even without any other evidence, to assess damages that were considered to be the natural or probable consequences of the defamatory words. 2997, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974).A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, Elmer Gertz, and awarded compensatory and punitive damages. 14. The States were required to conform to these decisions. 1439 (1913); Dorr v. United States, 195 U.S. 138, 24 S.Ct. Twenty-four jurisdictions were said to hold that libel not defamatory on its face is to be treated like slander and thus not actionable without proof of damage where slander would not be. Two members of the Court concurred in the result in Rosenbloom but departed from the reasoning of the plurality. See Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 368—369, 51 S.Ct. Applying settled Illinois law, the District Court in this case held that it is libel per se to label someone a Communist. As the broad base of newspaper ownership narrows, the variation of facts and opinions received by the public from antagonistic sources is increasingly limited. The Court does not hold that First Amendment guarantees do not extend to speech concerning private persons' involvement in events of public or general interest. Although the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit doubted the correctness of the District Court's determination that petitioner was not a public figure, it did not overturn that finding.3 It agreed with the District Court that respondent could assert the constitutional privilege because the article concerned a matter of public interest, citing this Court's intervening decision in Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, Inc., supra. Bork, Neutral Principles and Some First Amendment Problems, 47 Ind.L.J. Private individuals do not have such access, nor do they seek such media attention. 642, 649 (1966); Merin, 11 Wm. 1434, 1436, 16 L.Ed.2d 484 (Black, J. Clyde J. Watts, Oklahoma City, Okl., for respondent. at 726.6. Respondent media organization published defamatory statements about petitioner, including statements that he was a Communist and framed the murderer. The standard announced today leaves the States free to 'define for themselves the appropriate standard of liability for a publisher or broadcaster' in the circumstances of this case. 36, 39 (S.D.N.Y.1954), aff'd, 223 F.2d 429 (CA2), cert. This conclusion is not based on a belief that the considerations which prompted the adoption of the New York Times privilege for defamation of public officials and its extension to public figures are wholly inapplicable to the context of private individuals. This showing left the Times with the single defense of truth, for under Alabama law neither good faith nor reasonable care would protect the newspaper from liability. '3 I noted in Rosenbloom that performance of this task would not always be easy. 1068 (1952) (Douglas, J., dissenting). On the other hand, a publisher or broadcaster of a defamatory error which a court deems unrelated to an issue of public or general interest may be held liable in damages even if it took every reasonable precaution to ensure the accuracy of its assertions. Finding no evidence that they have shirked this responsibility, particularly when the law of defamation is even now in transition, I would await some demonstration of the diminution of freedom of expression before acting. Senator Calhoun in reporting to Congress assumed the invalidity of the Act to be a matter 'which no one now doubts.' In surveying the current state of the law, the proposed Restatement (Second) observed that '(a)ll courts except Virginia agree that any libel which is defamatory upon its face is actionable without proof of damage . See Note, Media and the First Amendment in a Free Society, 60 Geo.L.J. 496 v. Austin, 213 Va. 377, 192 S.E.2d 737 (1972), rev'd, 418 U.S. 264, 94 S.Ct. ..' 471 F.2d 801, 807 n. 15 (1972). With that caveat we have no difficulty in distinguishing among defamation plaintiffs. . Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 254—257, 72 S.Ct. I joined Mr. Justice Brennan's opinion for the plurality in Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, Inc., 403 U.S. 29, 91 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964). . There was no evidence that the managing editor of American Opinion knew of the falsity of the accusations made in the article. . The Court thereby refuses in any case to accept the fact of wide dissemination of a per se libel as prima facie proof of injury sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss at the close of plaintiff's case. Description xiii, 295 pages ; 25 cm. 345—346. The salutary social value of this rule is preventive in character since it often permits a defamed person to expose the groundless character of a defamatory rumor before harm to the reputation has resulted therefrom.' And this question remained open throughout the trial. Respondent claimed that petitioner could not make such a showing and submitted a supporting affidavit by the magazine's managing editor. 11 and 12 of Restatement of Torts (Second), released in 1965 and 1966, respectively. He abjured the suggested distinction between public officials and public figures on the one hand and private individuals on the other. 72—617. Commission on Freedom of the Press, A Free and Responsible Press 130, 81 (1947). 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