In an article in the New York Review of Books, the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, has called for a reform of the British libel laws.
He writes: "News organizations in the Western world, struggling with declining audiences and revenue, are shedding journalists, closing down foreign operations, and cutting costs. But they are also increasingly inhibited by efforts—of government officials and of private corporations—to prevent them from protecting sources or from carrying out difficult investigations.
"Many minds are rightly focused on the regulatory, economic, technological, and legal issues that news organizations committed to serious journalism should be addressing. A starting point would be to reform one of the potential obstacles to their doing so—the British laws of libel. Do not be lulled into a false security by the word "British": in the Internet age the British laws can bite you, no matter where you live."
The Guardian editor discusses the impact of the libel action brought against the paper by Tesco.