First Amendment Right of Reply
Following my August 14th post on the Fairness Doctrine and Ethics Reform in Broadcast, I made the assertion that WOMEN as a Class of people need ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to protect us from the wholesale SLANDER of WOMEN as a Class of people in Media of all kinds.
Just like Insurance Agents are REQUIRED to be Certified in ETHICS, Journalism Majors are REQUIRED to study LIBEL LAW..
Journalism Majors like myself CANNOT get a Journalism Degree without LIBEL LAW..
I got my degree 30 years ago, at a time when nobody had computers & there was no Internet. While modern life has changed to the point that we cannot imagine life without these things, one thing remains the same: there are LAWS protecting us from Slander.
This has everything to do with the 1st Amendment "Freedom of the Press."
Like any Constitutionally-protected right, these rights come with a RESPONSIBILITY.
Ordinary Citizens who don't have the ability to broadcast or CIRCULATE information of any kind to an AUDIENCE have Constitutionally-protected remedies against Libel & Slander - in others words DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER, beginning with Right of Reply.
When News Outlets are verifying the validity of a story to make sure it is true, or just an unsubstantiated rumor, Right of Reply can protect the News outlet from being sued for slander if they pick up the phone & call.
When the viewing public hears a reporter state, "We reached out to the White House for comment but they declined," this is Right of Reply.
Right of Reply is part of the Fairness Doctrine, that even if the person/persons declined to respond or responded with "No Comment," the News Outlet made a "Good Faith Effort" to get BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY.
While it may be impossible to pick up the phone & call every woman who feels, slandered, maligned & had their character defamed with sexist, MISOGYNISTIC attacks on "Mother Nature," or blaming MILK for causing GAS Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would protect WOMEN from this kind of Hate Speech against Women.