As a vocal minority increasingly airs their displeasure with the actual malice rule the U.S. Supreme Court established in New York Times v. Sullivan, media defense attorneys find themselves searching for way to pushback against the possible erosion of a key First Amendment protection for free speech. This article calls for a reconsideration of the “matter of public concern” standard that a plurality of the Court promulgated in Rosenbloom v. Metromedia. The article outlines the chief concerns brought by those who wish to reconsider the requirement that public officials and public figures prove reckless disregard for the truth to recover in defamation cases. Upon closer inspection, many of these concerns reflect a frustration with increasing criticism of public officials as well as procedural changes in addition to the actual malice standard that have made it more difficult for litigants to successfully sue for defamation. It argues the Rosenbloom standard strikes the proper balance between the protection for individual reputation and the ability to engage in meaningful public deliberation in a democratic society.

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