The Texas Citizen Participation Act (TCPA & Civil Practice and Remedy Code §27) is to protect Citizens Participating in public events from SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). The Act provides for a Motion to Dismiss any Lawsuit that is designed to discourage Public Participation. In order to implement the Act the Defendant must prove with a preponderance of evidence that the suit was brought to prevent the exercise of the Defendant's Constitutional rights of Free Speech, Petition and/or Association. But the catch is the same Act defines Free Speech to be any communication made about a public event. This definition removes the first step for all journalists and news reporters when they have been sued as a result of publishing any article about a public event. Any other defendant in any other lawsuit must prove by other means how they were exercising their Constitutional rights of Free Speech, Petition and/or Association.
But a real misunderstanding about the profession of news journalism is built into this Act. All news journalists violate their own ethics if they "participate" in any event that they cover. They cannot cover and/or write an article on a protest in which they carried a sign expressing their own views. They cannot write a news article on any event that expresses their own opinion unless they notice their readers that it is their own opinion.
I mention this fact that newspaper reporters cannot be "citizen participants" either at the event they cover or even in the article they publish about the event unless they notice their readers that they are doing so. I put this information in Plaintiff's pleadings and in Plaintiff's Exhibit J of his Amendment #2 of his Affidavit found at Link #17 in Left Hand menu at http://PostWTC.com/avc.html
Avery also likens this journalistic ethical code to a reporter being in a bubble of "non-participation" at any event they cover which they must maintain at the event and in the article they publish in order to follow ethical standards of the news industry. RE: Link #18 in the Left Hand menu pages 1-5 of 19.
Today another perfect example was given us by Bill O'Reilly
on FOX. Bill reminds Jorge Ramos that he as head of Univision Communications
cannot cover Donald Trump's candidacy for President of the
But in the Avery v Hearst case, Dylan Baddour, the news reporter never broke the Bubble of "non-participation" and cannot invoke the provisions of the TCPA.
Watch the O'Reilly Factor 7 minute interview of Jorge Ramos at:
Bill complains about this journalistic rule to Jorge beginnig at 2:50.