Document Type



Graduate School of Media and Communications


The lower courts are now interpreting the High Court's judgement in Chakravarti v Advertiser Newspaper Ltd, which was handed down in May 1998. As the lower courts grapple with the decision, journalists must still produce reports of complex legal matters. Unfortunately for Australian journalists, the Chakravarti decision has done little to clarify the uncertainty surrounding defamation law. In fact, the decision can be criticised for increasing that uncertainty. This article examines the effect of the Chakravarti case on journalism by analysing the text of the various judgements and: extracting the legal principles which bind journalist; identifying areas where the persuasive opinion of judges may create an environment of uncertainty for journalist: and discussing ways of maximising privilege protection when reporting matters of public interest.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Australian Studies in Journalism