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Tennessee high court rules against paper in defamation case

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Tennessee high court rules against paper in defamation caseThe Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a newspaper cannot use the state’s fair report privilege law as a shield against a defamation lawsuit for a story that was based on a one-on-one interview with a police detective. The case concerns Jeffery Burke, who was accused in 2013 of stealing money from a White County football team’s cookie dough fundraiser. The original trial court judge found that the story fell under Tennessee’s fair report privilege, a law that shields reporters from defamation suits when they report fairly and accurately on an official action or proceeding, even if that information turns out to be inaccurate.