1. In the court case: Oriental Daily v Mingpao(2010), What are the defences the defendant used? Why those denfences are not supported by the judge?
The First Plaintiff was the publisher of the Oriental Daily News (Oriental). The Second Plaintiff, Ma Ching Kwan, was the honorary chairman of Oriental’s parent company. The Defendants were the proprietor, publisher and chief editor of Ming Pao.
This case is about two Chinese language daily newspapers both are wildly circulated in Hong Kong, especially for Ming Pao, which has a readership of more than 110, 000.
1) The defences Ming Pao used:
Ming Pao refused to admit that the published news is referable to the plaintiffs.
Considered that Ma is a notorious criminal and do not have any credibility, a reasonable reader would not believe his words. In other words, this article does not have defamatory meaning.
This news is related to public interest, so this case can convey by “responsible of journalism” defence.
2) Why those defences are not supported by the judge?
Any accusation should base on facts. However, at that time, Ma Chui Sing (Ma) had earlier been found guilty of defamation and has been fined. The so-called demonstration is just Ma who repeated the untrue allegation about Oriental. So, Ming Pao reported this news can regard as relayed libel.
As a wildly circulated and have a high reputation newspaper in Hong Kong, it is very common for an ordinary reader to think that Ming Pao would not select news items