A new way to protect mass media
A new way to protect their newspaper against libel cases was invented by the newspaper ‘Severodonetski Visti. This edition, which since 1996 is owned and financed by the town council, plays the role of a journalist killer of those, who may threaten the town mayor. Usually it was done towards persons and organizations, whom the town authorities could not reach in some other way, for example, through law-enforcing bodies. Most often this means that no objective negative information exists, and it must be fabricated. As a result, various persons handed about ten libel complaints against the newspaper ‘Severodonetski Visti, that were won by the newspaper at the town court. The situation changed, when the consecutive victim of the libel became the peoples deputy, the head of the permanent committee on state construction Juliy Ya. Ioffe. Here the court mechanism, which previously functioned quite well for the use of local authorities, broke down. The court ruled the editorial board of the newspaper to pay Hr 5000 for moral damage. The court executor also did not permit to fool himself by the fact that the newspaper had several bank accounts, the deputys referents were vigilant.
But in Saturdays issue the newspaper informed its readers that it found a roundabout way not to pay the fine, which was called the salvation of the newspaper for its readers. Now the newspaper will be published by the collective enterprise ‘My favorite town, and the editors will prepare the newspaper as before, but will have no money. So they will not pay the libel fine. We want to attract the attention of other journalists, who suffer from libel cases, to this new trick.
After the message of the Electronic bulletin of the informative service of the Lugansk oblast department of all-Ukrainian public organizations ‘The committee of Ukrainian voters. No. 3, 2000