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“Raining concerns”: local publishers face deluge of defamation threats

by Michael West | Jun 24, 2024 | What's the scam?

You would think the Ben Roberts-Smith and Bruce Lehrmann debacles would have fixed the defamation craze but the bullies are attacking small publishers thick and fast. What’s the scam?

The scam is muzzling free speech; the scam is that the threats are just that – threats. As defamation lawyer Michael Bradley from Marque Lawyers told WTS:

“[It’s] fair to say that it’s raining concerns notices but the enthusiasm to sue has been dramatically tempered by recent examples of self-immolating plaintiffs”. Actual court actions are down but threats are up. It is illegal to use the law for commercial purposes such as simply using threats to muzzle.

The most egregious threat we have seen is the attack on local publisher Hawkesbury Post to take stories about the Council’s dealings with property developers down or be dragged into court. The local election is due in September.

(This publisher MWM has had three legal threats already this year.)

defamation, Hawkesbury Post

Michael West established Michael West Media in 2016 to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. West was formerly a journalist and editor with Fairfax newspapers, a columnist for News Corp and even, once, a stockbroker.

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