This Comment considers the current law, contemplates the rapid growth of technology and proposes an answer to the following two questions: Should there be a distinction between media and nonmedia defendants? If so, who should be offered more protection: You or Larry King? To answer these questions, Part I summarizes traditional and current defamation law and the First Amendment protections that have been meted out by the courts. Part II discusses the court decisions that have noted whether a distinction between media and nonmedia defendants is meritorious and critiques those conclusions in light of the development of defamation law. Part III addresses the evolution of the media by comparing early defamation actions with the current circumstances facing American society, where newspapers are fading away and the internet is on the rise. Additionally, this subsection explains the necessity of defining the word "media," and theorizes how the courts might do so in light of the rapid growth of technology. Finally, Part IV contemplates whether there should be a distinction between media and nonmedia defendants, explains the benefits and downfalls of each approach, and predicts what may happen in the future given that the ability to communicate defamatory statements now takes mere seconds and has a potentially globalized effect.
Rebecca Phillips, Constitutional Protection for Non-Media Defendants: Should There Be a Distinction Between You and Larry King?, 33 Campbell L. Rev. 173 (2010).