Responsible Journalism Defence – Online Archives Have to Be Updated

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has recently decided, in Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 804 that the ‘responsible journalism in the public interest’ defence to defamation requires that an online archive of a story must be updated to take account of exculpatory developments.

Since the Canadian version of that defence (‘public interest responsible communication’) expressly applies to blogs and other non-mainstream-media publications, will bloggers have to update their stories too? Will they have to go back and amend or annotate the original posting? Does the usual blogging software allow for that?

(In Flood, the CA held that the original story did not qualify for the responsible journalism defence, as the High Court had held. The journalists had just repeated allegations in a report without checking them independently. Will bloggers ever do more?)

Should Canadian courts follow this decision?

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