Local Citizen Journalist Beats Back Libel Lawsuit in Victory for Free Speech Rights

by LAURA SMITH

ROCHESTER, NY -- After more than a year of court proceedings, citizen journalist Jim Meaney of the Geneva Believer won a definitive victory this week after Ontario County Supreme Court dismissed a defamation and libel lawsuit against him and awarded him damages.


At issue in the defamation case were 10 articles Meaney published to his blog questioning contracts between Massa Construction Inc. and the City of Geneva, and potential conflicts of interest for City Council members there.


Reclaiming the Narrative's volunteer reporter, Laura Smith, recently spoke with Meaney to find out more about the court battle, and its implications for free speech, especially in cases where reporters work outside the protections of more established newsrooms.


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LAURA SMITH is a volunteer reporter for Reclaiming the Narrative. She can be reached at wxirnews@gmail.com.