Washington Law Review


Radio has opened up a new and larger opportunity for defamation than has ever existed before. There are licensed today in the United States 683 broadcasting stations scattered throughout the country. Newspapers are fairly closely owned and do not open their columns generally to the public. Radio stations, on the other hand, broadcast the message not only of those who lease their facilities, but they also carry the messages of men of public affairs and public officials, for which unsponsored broadcasting they receive no commercial return. Speeches of a timely and informative nature delivered before an audience are frequently broadcast with a microphone before the speaker, and these, in turn, are received by thousands of radio listeners in addition to the audience which is seated before the speaker. Modern invention has thus arisen as an ally of defamation, and if man's ingenuity continues at its present rate, the vehicles for libel and slander will continue to increase. Television will certainly not lessen the effectiveness of a defamatory imputation.

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