Defamation task

For this week’s seminar task, students must work in groups to produce a radio sequence on defamation.

A sequence is a series of items on a single topic: in this case, defamation (if you’re shooting video, a sequence means something different).

Each group will produce a series of two-ways, linked together. At least four people will be needed in each group: a presenter, and three journalists. If another role is needed, someone can write a voice piece for the bulletin, to go at the end of the sequence. Alternatively, we could have a fourth two-way, giving brief details of a number of libel cases. Maximum six in a team.

The elements are:

  1. A two-way with a reporter on the outcome of a libel case. Take a real-life case dating from January 2014 onwards, but report it as if it was fresh news. It needs to explain what the case was about, what the claimant said, and what the plaintiff (the newspaper/broadcaster) said in defence. Plus any extra information such as the judgement, damages or costs.
  2. A two-way with a correspondent, giving the background: in this case, explaining the law of defamation. Questions might cover what defamation means, the basics of bringing a claim, and the defences. A case study would make it more interesting.
  3. A two-way with an analyst (in the BBC, that’s a journalist) commenting on some aspect of the new libel law, such as whether it is having an effect, or some other ongoing development.

Your content must be entirely factual (not opinion), and based on actual case studies (except the explanation of defamation law, which can be based on the Law Basics briefing on this website).

To save time, don’t write a word-for-word script: just write key words and phrases, to test your ability to talk unscripted (which is easier!).

The reporter on each component can work with the presenter on writing the cue for their section.

Book out an Edirol and record your sequence.

Find case studies and analysis using the Defamation tag on the left-hand sidebar of this website. Or look for stories in the Defamation section at

You are on air at 12.30pm.


%d bloggers like this: