The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

19 February 2005

MA: Herald Vows Court Battle Over Libel Case

As expected, the Boston Herald is gearing up for war after their libel case loss yesterday. They'd better win or journalism will be in big, big trouble. Imagine the inability to criticize the professional conduct of a judge and you see what a chilling effect this case will have.

(Boston Herald)

A jury yesterday found that the Boston Herald libeled Superior Court Judge Ernest Murphy in a series of stories dating back to 2002, and ordered the paper to pay damages of $2.1 million.

Herald Publisher Patrick J. Purcell immediately vowed to appeal the verdict, which came after a month-long trial and nearly a week of deliberation.

``We'd like to thank the jury for their diligence on this very complicated case,'' Purcell said.

``However, we believe the First Amendment allows news organizations to provide uninhibited coverage of government and public figures, and we will continue to cover them vigorously.''


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