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Journalism Organization Coming To Defense Of Paper In Clay County Suit

Last updated on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Society of Professional Journalists are coming to the rescue of a Terre Haute newspaper which is facing a $1.5 million libel judgment.

In late July, a jury awarded Clay County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Maynard $1.5 million in a libel suit against the Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

The case alleged the Tribune-Star libeled the officer by printing allegations made against him by a woman that later turned out to be false.

The SPJ says they're supporting the paper since it only printed neutral reporting of allegations between two parties, which is both standard and acceptable practice, even if those allegations turn out not to be true, so long as there is no malice present in the report.

The paper is appealing the verdict to the Indiana Court of Appeals, however, no date appears to be set yet.

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