Enacts new GS 14-47.1 making it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any manager, editor, publisher, reporter, or employee of any newspaper or periodical to publish or disseminate any false and libelous statement with actual malice directly towards any person who currently holds a State or federal public office in this state. Defines actual malice to mean with knowledge that the matter was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
Enacts new GS 99-1.1 prohibiting a newspaper, radio or television station, or other media outlet from publishing or disseminating libelous matter through written, oratory, or digital means, with actual malice directed towards an individual who currently holds a State or federal public office in this state. Prohibits a claim for relief brought under this statute for a violation from alleging presumed damages; requires the complainant to allege actual damages as a direct result of the libelous matter published or disseminated. Specifies that this statute does not prevent a newspaper, radio or television station, or other media outlet from publishing or disseminating information that provides fair comment and criticism on matters of public interest.
Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to acts or omissions on or after that date.
Bill H 799 (2021-2022)Summary date: May 3 2021 - View summary