Spin the wheel - or reform libel lottery to protect society
Journalists should be protected by the law and not cowed into silence by it for fear of being sued, writes Willie Kealy
I have a solution to the problem of libel for newspaper publishers and others in similar positions of responsibility in the media - establish the Wheel of Defamation.
It would work like this. If someone sues for libel and the publishers' lawyers reckon the plaintiff has a 50pc or better chance of success, they should be invited to spin the wheel which will offer the possibility of cash amounts ranging from €5,000 to €100,000.
It's a simple plan and a bit radical, so I don't expect anyone to take it up anytime soon - but if nothing else, it should serve for now to demonstrate the extent to which the laws covering defamation amount to nothing more than a gamble for the media, a lottery in which they can never win. The most they can ever hope to achieve is to break even.