Sunday, January 11, 2015

Liberty of publication, a case of Delauter and Frederic News-Post

A battle between a politician and the media emerged in the US. Kriby Delauter, a County Councilman, posted on his Facebook that he had not authorized his name on Frederick News-Post, upsetting with the articles. He wrote that he would plan to pursue legal action if the media continue to refer to him.

His comments ignited a hostility of the Post. It published sequential articles to discuss the matter, of course mentioning to the name of Delauter.

The Frederic News-Post: Delauter to The News-Post: Don't use my name without permission

Delauter finally had no choice other than apologizing to the Post admitting his comments were inappropriate.

The Baltimore Sun: Delauter apologizes for threatening reporter: 'My statement ... was wrong and inappropriate'

The series of argument is quite common also in Japan. The media sometimes make an article in which some statements of the politicians were misinterpreted. The issued politicians have to explain the intention on their own words. It seems an annoying task. I understand their discomfort.

Politicians are public persons. Their behaviors are always watched by the media. censorship on power is one of the roles of the media. However, it does not mean that the media are permitted to write anything.

Nevertheless, it is not acceptable to make the media shrink with threatening. In South Korea, a responsible employee of a Japanese media was accused for defamation, as I wrote. It is an extreme case suggesting the conflict between the power and the media. I do not support the legal action by the Korean government. Compared to Korea, the liberty of publication is well respected in the US, I think. This is the reason why Delauter had to surrender.

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