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Monday, 17 October 2011

Censorship and Libel

Libel deals with work before they get published. As they need to see what is written before published, since if what is written is offending someone, that person can sue them.  Unless that person is dead, in that case nothing can be done. If a writer writes about someone defamatory them, believing they applied the truth, they would need to prove it. Which will be at court and telling the court that they did not intend to do so, they did it just for the public interesting, will not get them anywhere.  Nor does saying a third party told them the information would change the judge mind, as the writer choose to write it and by that they hold responsibility for it.  While on the other hand if they can establish that it is their own opinion, a fair comment. That way they can get away with it. For example calling someone mad, it’s defamatory yet if writer said the person is starting to become mentally ill. It is ok as the writer is implying it and saying it in a less rude offensive way.
Defamatory a person does not just mean famous people; it also includes normal daily people. Such as if a person talked with a writer and wanted it to be kept private and the writer did not. That person has the obligation to take action cause of the right of privacy and the writer would only land themselves in trouble.
This affects a writer as they have to be careful on the way they write things about people, since some people may take little comments as highly offensive. Also offending someone can only land themselves in court.  For example a paparazzi, they tend to stalk celebrity and write about them for gossip. They would land themselves getting sued or even imprisoned. But I guess becoming a paparazzi mean that It is the risk they are willing to take to get news.
However this also applies to other types of writers, such as if an author writes some real person name in their book or even has a character that is very similar to a real person that you can identify from. Then it still counts and the author may get sued.  To prevent this from happening the writer company normally have insurance to prevent being sued. Though unfortunately some insurance does not cover the author, it only covers the company but some insurance only cover the company until the problem is huge and the money wise is big. There are normally specialised people in helping people being sued, which is legal to ask them for help. It is best to seek for their specialised help first instead of straight away defending.  As it may give a bad impression to others and make matters worse. Also if you know the problem is big and you know you would lose there is no harm in trying to negotiate with the person who is suing you, or try to find another way to amend the problem.

Censorship is similar to libel, however censorship controls the information that is being published and has the authority to move the information else-where or get rid of it.  The government normally has control of the censorship but it is not always done by the government nor is censorship done fairly. Such as if a famous person what certain news or video gone completely and they know people who deals with the censorship. They can use their power to get of that news or video. In that case it is not fairly done, it simply done through power.  Ben Shahn an artist once created a poster saying “You have not converted a man because you have silent him”, I personally think this meant that even if they got rid of the news and made it quiet, the writer and everyone who was involved will always know the story. On another hand it could mean that the censorship forced the writer to be silent, using threats.
It was back in the 20th century where censorship was achieved through doing examination on TV shows, news report and other shows that used communication. Censorship started off to help protect people along with the church and the state. It is a good idea to bring in censorship as they protect people. Such as something’s people publish can deeply offend someone and it may even ruin their life by emotionally hurting them.  Such as the tabloid emotionally hurt Brad and Emily (from The Bachelor). It affected their relationship but fortunately they are still together.
Censorship affects a writer as the stuff they write may not always get published and sometime what they write can lead them to danger or being threaten. As the writer can be dealing with some people who has a lot of power within the industry.  

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