Hickson V. Channel 4
It is clear that this case falls within the boundaries of the defamation act. However, there are many reasonable and debatable questions within these boundaries. It is also clear that channel 4 is suitable and fits all the guidelines for the Actual Malice rule. Although channel 4 has made claims that the faulty claims made in their publication of the death of Mrs Hickson’s daughter on December 4, 2002 was simply an honest mistake and regurgitation of the information relayed by the AP. I find this statement bearing no truth due to the fact channel 4’s story doesn’t abide to the facts presented in AP story, therefore inflicting various negative implications on Mrs. Hickson’s reputation, economical stability and mental health.
Channel 4 is clearly a public resource/figure that is very much suitable for the Actual Malice rule. Generally one cannot be guilty of actual malice due to the failure to investigate the truth of the allegations. For this very reason the AP story has done nothing wrong besides commit a honest journalistic mistake, which is not grounds for persecution. Although channel 4’s story bears resemblance to the story printed by the AP there is obvious fabrications within their story, which is clearly reckless regard for the truth.
Regarding defamation on Mrs. Hickson’s behalf, it is also clear that channel 4’s article has inflicted permanent damage on her character and public respect. There are clear false statements of fact fabricated by channel 4 not to mentions it is evident that Mrs. Hickson was at home during the death of her daughter and it is not fair for her to catch the grief of being an irresponsible single parent (harm to Hickson’s reputation). These statements are obviously of and concerning Mrs. Hickson. Mrs. Hickson accusations of channel 4 making and example of her may not be true however they are reasonable and futher the damage done by the alleged fabrications sated by channel 4. Mrs. Hickson has also suffered some serious mental health issues that have cost outstanding amounts of money and have been partially fueled by the misrepresentations of her daughter’s death by channel 4’s publications of the event (clear evidence of damage). Mrs. Hickson’s has lost the respect of the community and this has made it difficult for her to find a reputable job or simply be socially accepted. Most importantly, channels 4’s Reckless disregard for the truth has thus cost her 16 months of unemployment and the loss of future income.