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Who is and who isn't a journalist?

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posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 09:57 AM
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Who is a Journalist and is entitled to the laws designed to protect them and who isn't?

Last Thursday my neighbor and his wife had an argument. It never went past them yelling at each other, there was no violence. Somebody called the police and as a result my neighbor had to leave his house for the night. I offered to let him stay with me, but, the police said that I lived too close and he might go back home after they leave. I was working on my car and couldn't take him to a motel, so the police gave him a ride. The next morning I got a call asking if I would pick him up and take him to work. I picked him up at the motel and took him to work and as I was leaving I saw him come out and wave at me. When I turned around and went back, he asked me if I would wait a few minutes. It turns out that he was fired and they were cleaning out his desk for him.

I took him home and then I went to work. That evening I found out what had happened. Our area has a guy who monitors the police radio frequencies and posts incidents to Facebook. He posted that my neighbor had been arrested for Domestic Violence and was taken away by the police. He even posted my neighbor's name. Somebody else posted a picture of him getting into a police car and then somebody else posted the name of the company where he works. Well you can guess where it went from there. Somebody where he works saw the post, brought it to the attention of management and he was fired.

This isn't the first time that this guy has posted inaccurate information to Facebook. He's miss identified people as sex offenders, he's stated that a woman was suffering from a heroin overdose when she had a Epileptic seizure and several other incidents. One of the people that he called a sex offender had their car vandalized.

He says that it isn't his fault and that he is immune from lawsuits because he is a Journalist and there are laws that protect him.

So I'm asking "What defines a journalist?"




posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:11 AM
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originally posted by: JIMC5499
Who is a Journalist and is entitled to the laws designed to protect them and who isn't?

Last Thursday my neighbor and his wife had an argument. It never went past them yelling at each other, there was no violence. Somebody called the police and as a result my neighbor had to leave his house for the night. I offered to let him stay with me, but, the police said that I lived too close and he might go back home after they leave. I was working on my car and couldn't take him to a motel, so the police gave him a ride. The next morning I got a call asking if I would pick him up and take him to work. I picked him up at the motel and took him to work and as I was leaving I saw him come out and wave at me. When I turned around and went back, he asked me if I would wait a few minutes. It turns out that he was fired and they were cleaning out his desk for him.

I took him home and then I went to work. That evening I found out what had happened. Our area has a guy who monitors the police radio frequencies and posts incidents to Facebook. He posted that my neighbor had been arrested for Domestic Violence and was taken away by the police. He even posted my neighbor's name. Somebody else posted a picture of him getting into a police car and then somebody else posted the name of the company where he works. Well you can guess where it went from there. Somebody where he works saw the post, brought it to the attention of management and he was fired.

This isn't the first time that this guy has posted inaccurate information to Facebook. He's miss identified people as sex offenders, he's stated that a woman was suffering from a heroin overdose when she had a Epileptic seizure and several other incidents. One of the people that he called a sex offender had their car vandalized.

He says that it isn't his fault and that he is immune from lawsuits because he is a Journalist and there are laws that protect him.

So I'm asking "What defines a journalist?"


The so-called journalist can be charged under libel laws.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:16 AM
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Journalist are not immune to lawsuits, journalist are credited by the institution they study and credited by the source they will cover (you may be a journalist but that does not mean you can enter the white house to cover a press conference without a white house permit)

Sue the fool



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:27 AM
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As others have said, the so-called 'journalist' can face lawsuits for his actions. He is not disseminating news, as a journalist does. He is spreading libelous statements which have invited damages to the reputations of people involved.

Tell your buddy to suit up and take that guy and his employer to court.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:28 AM
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Don't get yourself too tangled up in a fight with a Facebook scanner jockey. There seems to be someone in every town who does this and the police aren't really shutting them down.

The only course of action would be for the people involved to sue for libel or slander. This doesn't mean the page creator won't just make another page.

Unfortunately, the best thing to do would be to ignore the facebook page and go after the employer for wrongful dismissal, if there are grounds for it.
edit on 22-2-2016 by Atsbhct because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

It depends what country you live in, but I would say that in the US, UK and other democratic nations with some standards this individual can now sue the person for libel, he can probably sue his employer for unfair dismissal too.

In most places you can't simply fire someone for an accusation. They would be able to fire someone for actually committing a crime and being charged for that crime, but they cannot simply believe Facebook gossip and use that as an excuse to fire someone.

He should find a lawyer and explain what happened here, he has a case against both the gossip monger and his former employer as far as I can see.

Incidentally, in several countries laws are changing to make publishing things like this a criminal offence if you get it wrong. I believe in several parts of Europe a blogger can now be sued for libel if they publish something inaccurate or slanderous about an individual or a company. Everyone is effectively becoming a publisher of information or news when share such information, which makes them liable for the inaccuracies they repeat.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: Rocker2013


It depends what country you live in, but I would say that in the US, UK and other democratic nations with some standards this individual can now sue the person for libel, he can probably sue his employer for unfair dismissal too.


Yep. It's definitely libel and he can and should definitely sue.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

I'd be willing to donate to potential court costs to bring the nosey parker Facebook loser down.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 02:13 PM
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I just heard from my neighbor. He goes back to work tomorrow. The Mayor and the Chief of Police went to his employer and explained what happened. He doesn't lose pay for Friday and today. The Police will be posting an article in the local paper tomorrow stating what happened.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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originally posted by: JIMC5499
I just heard from my neighbor. He goes back to work tomorrow. The Mayor and the Chief of Police went to his employer and explained what happened. He doesn't lose pay for Friday and today. The Police will be posting an article in the local paper tomorrow stating what happened.

Justice. The Mayor got involved too. I bet that Facebook schmuk feels like a tool.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: and14263

No, he doesn't. His biggest targets are the Mayor and Police Chief.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Post the article if you can, I'd like to see how they addressed it.



posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 07:55 PM
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On the question of journalism I think that it has gotten more broad over the years, thanks to the internet anyone can self publish and really journalism laws are really about what capacity you're writing in. A journalist has no additional protections when writing a personal letter, but an official expose they are writing does. Considering that I would say that journalistic protections should apply to anyone today who is writing publicly in order to inform others.

That said, journalists do have an obligation to write the truth, or to atleast show when wrong that they performed their due diligence and researched the issue, but that the research which lead to the conclusion turned out to be incorrect. I'm not a lawyer by any stretch, but I would say this should be the metric used for a successful libel case. If this Facebook Warrior is effectively just publishing rumors and unofficial information without fact checking it he should be liable for any damage caused by false information.


originally posted by: JIMC5499
I just heard from my neighbor. He goes back to work tomorrow. The Mayor and the Chief of Police went to his employer and explained what happened. He doesn't lose pay for Friday and today. The Police will be posting an article in the local paper tomorrow stating what happened.


This probably doesn't fix anything. His employer will still think he's a trouble maker and be looking for any opportunity to get rid of him. They just have to use a different excuse now, which means in 4-8 weeks he's still going to be out of a job.

Also, it's extremely screwed up that the company can fire a person over personal conduct in their private life. That really should not be an option at all.
edit on 22-2-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 08:46 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
Also, it's extremely screwed up that the company can fire a person over personal conduct in their private life. That really should not be an option at all.


I agree with you, but, look at how things are now. We live in the age of trial by media. One of the local news channels ran a story last night about a teacher who was being investigated for something that I didn't catch. The story wasn't about what he was being investigated for, it was about why he wasn't fired while he was being investigated.



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Journalism is a profession, not a hobby.



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