How did the trial of john peter zenger change the def of libel and advance the cause of freedom of the press?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    John Peter Zenger (October 26, 1697 – July 28, 1746) was a printer, publisher, editor and journalist in New York City. His indictment, trial and acquittal on sedition and libel charges against the Governor William Cosby of the New York Colony in 1734 were important contributing factors to the development of freedom of the press in America. The Zenger decision helped clarify the beliefs of early Colonial life and lay the groundwork for the responsibilities of both media and government in a functioning democracy.

    Technically, anything published that is negative is a "libel," even if it is true. This fantastic trial, where Zenger was represented by Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia, changed the legal definition of "libel" from "anything negative" to "false and malicious."

    In these days of the PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act, our Constitutional freedoms are under attack and Zenger becomes more important than ever.

  • 1 decade ago

    Zenger was a newspaper man who wrote articles against the English. The English tried him for libel and the judge ruled in favor of Zenger. The defense of libel and Slander are the same, truth. Libel is in print; slander is oral. If you call a man a left handed red headed stepchild and a jackass, and can't prove that all of that is true, you may have a libel or slander suit against you.

  • 3 years ago

    Zenger replaced into editor & writer of the recent-York Weekly magazine. He replaced into accused of seditious libel for some comments on the royal Governor. He replaced into defended by potential of Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia. The jury fostered freedom of the click by potential of their acquittal. besides the shown fact that, in terms of the modern-day regulation, Zenger replaced into unquetionably accountable, and the jury's verdict replaced into an occasion of jurry nullification (balloting to acquit as as gesture of disapproval of the regulation). jointly as legal experts, historians, and jopurnalists all compliment the acquittal, virtually all are additionally extremely silent on jury nullification, as they do no longer choose modern-day juries to %. up on the assumption, and better than did the Royal Governor of Zenger's day. there have been 3 important episodes of attempting to cut back press freedom through fact Zenger--the Alien & Sedition Acts under John Adams, the Palmer raids pink scare submit international conflict I, and a few factors interior the PATRIOT Act.

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