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Multiple Choice Quiz
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1
Which of the following professions might be party to a libel suit?
A)Advertising copywriter
B)Public relations representative
C)Online journalist
D)All of the above
2
Libel suits filed against the mass media:
A)Are rarely won by plaintiffs if they reach the trial stage.
B)Almost always result in large out-of-court settlements in excess of a million dollars.
C)Expend a lot of time and money just to defend.
D)Often result in criminal penalties like jail time.
3
Even though it consists of many legal components, libel may generally be described as the publication or broadcast of:
A)An insult that directly harms the feelings of another individual.
B)A statement that injures someone's reputation in the community.
C)A story that critically attacks and harms another person.
D)False or misleading information about an individual or organization.
4
Since its inception, a primary rationale behind libel is to:
A)Allow an injured party to repair any damage that has been caused through libelous material.
B)Restore the publisher's reputation through the awarding of monetary damages.
C)Prevent the publication or broadcast of material that may not be in the public's best interest.
D)Establish a code of conduct for the press.
5
The defendants named in a SLAPP suit often involve:
A)Large media conglomerates attempting to access concealed information.
B)Corporations who have already filed a libel suit.
C)Citizen groups who criticize a company's operations or conduct.
D)Local governments who have meetings closed to the public.
6
The five elements that a plaintiff must successfully demonstrate in a libel suit against the mass media are:
A)Publication, identification, harm, defamation, and falsity.
B)Publication, identification, slander, falsity, and fault.
C)Identification, harm, defamation, falsity, and malice.
D)Publication, identification, defamation, falsity, and fault
7
Recent trends indicate that when people or companies are aware they won't be able to prove the necessary elements for libel they:
A)Simply refuse to bring any legal claims forward.
B)May bring forward claims that center on the conduct of journalists (e.g. trespass, breach of contract).
C)Often bring forward slander claims.
D)None of the above.
8
If a local station affiliate airs a defamatory story that runs during the network evening news, the local station:
A)May be sued for libel.
B)May be sued for libel, but only if there was scienter.
C)May be sued for republication.
D)May not be sued for libel.
9
An important element of defamation includes demonstrating that the communication:
A)Damaged a person's own perception of who they are.
B)Resulted in actual harm to a person's reputation.
C)Reached a significant majority of the population.
D)All of the above.
10
In order for publication to occur in a libel suit against a newspaper a plaintiff must show that:
A)A significant number of readers saw the material.
B)The plaintiff personally saw the material.
C)One additional person, other than the writer and person defamed, saw the material.
D)The newspaper actually printed the material in question.
11
Libelous publication on the Internet may occur in the form of:
A)E-mail.
B)Web page.
C)Real-time chat.
D)All of the above.
12
As a result of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, online service providers (OSPs) like America Online who are the subject of libel suits based in the U.S.:
A)Are not liable for publishing defamatory material that originates from a third party.
B)Must monitor and censor communication over their network to prevent the publication of libelous communication.
C)May be held liable for all defamatory material that is carried on its network.
D)Must enable defamed parties a right of reply.
13
In regards to a libel suit, identification:
A)May not be proven in novels or other fictional works.
B)Must be known to all readers or viewers.
C)May be demonstrated even if the person is not identified directly by name.
D)Must refer to a specific individual, not a group of people no matter how small.
14
What is the difference between defamatory words that are libelous on their face and words that are innocent on their face?
A)Words that are libelous on their face were used with specific defamatory intent to injure a person while words that are innocent were accidentally used.
B)Words that are libelous on their face always carry a defamatory effect while words that are innocent require the knowledge of other facts to become defamatory.
C)The term "libelous on their face" is generally used by plaintiffs while "innocent on their face" is used by defendants.
D)The terms are used interchangeably today to refer to defamation.
15
In Raye vs. Letterman (1987), the court determined defamation did not take place because:
A)No one could reasonably understand Dave's remark to be true.
B)Humor may not rise to the level of defamation.
C)Opinion may not rise to the level of defamation.
D)Defamatory statements may not take place during talk shows.
16
When a trial court is determining whether or not a statement is defamatory, the:
A)Judge must first rule upon whether the words are capable of defamatory meaning.
B)Judge or jury must determine if the words convey a defamatory meaning.
C)Judge and jury usually consider the ordinary meaning of the alleged defamatory words.
D)All of the above.
17
Based upon the ruling in Kaelin v. Globe Communications Corp (1998), courts may determine an article is defamatory based upon:
A)Innuendo that appears in the story.
B)Innuendo that appears in a story's headline.
C)Direct accusations of murder that appear in the story.
D)Hearsay that appears in the story.
18
Employing the term alleged in a story when dealing with criminal accusations:
A)Always protects a reporter from a defamation suit.
B)Explicitly implies that a criminal charge has been made by law enforcement.
C)Fails to provide a reporter with the necessary protection from a libel claim.
D)Should be used only when the state has failed to file formal charges.
19
If not used accurately, which of the following categories of words may result in defamatory meaning:
A)Sexual promiscuity.
B)Personal habits and traits.
C)Ridicule.
D)All of the above.
20
If a story alleges an individual home was constructed poorly, the single mistake rule:
A)Enables the home-builder to file a libel suit against a journalist.
B)Protects a reporter from libel unless the story suggests a pattern of incompetence.
C)Requires a retraction and apology if the journalist was merely stating an opinion.
D)None of the above.
21
In states that have adopted a survival statute:
A)It may be possible to continue a libel suit even if the plaintiff dies.
B)Relatives of a deceased person who has been defamed may file a libel suit.
C)Damage awards won from successful libel suits may be passed on to heirs.
D)All of the above.
22
Trade libel refers directly to:
A)The selling and exchange practices involved in federal commerce.
B)Defamation on an industry-wide basis.
C)The loss of income due to defamatory communications that attack a company.
D)Criticism of a product.
23
In Texas Beef Group vs. Winfrey (2000), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:
A)Affirmed the dismissal of the libel claim because no knowingly false statements had been stated about cattle.
B)Overturned the dismissal of the libel claim because of the veggie hate law.
C)Affirmed the libel damage award because Winfrey made defamatory statements of fact.
D)Ruled that the veggie hate laws are unconstitutional because they are content-based restrictions.
24
When an article defames a private person but addresses issues of public importance:
A)The court will decide whether or not the defendant or plaintiff has to demonstrate falsity.
B)The defendant must demonstrate falsity.
C)The plaintiff must demonstrate falsity.
D)Falsity matters, but only if the defamatory material occurred within the context of discussing an important public issue.
25
In terms of falsity that may take place within the context of direct quotes:
A)A plaintiff has to demonstrate that they were misquoted.
B)A plaintiff has to demonstrate that quotes were made up out of thin air.
C)A defendant may make minor word mistakes, just as long as the gist of the quoted material is true.
D)A defendant must prove that their tape recording malfunctioned during the interview.







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