Journalist who described TV psychics as a scam cleared of wrongdoing

The Supreme Court considers that a journalist who published an article in which she described the business of television psychics or futurologists as a scam is protected by freedom of expression.

The Chamber analysed whether the newspaper article published in an online newspaper, which contains a scathing criticism of the clairvoyance and fortune-telling television programs that charge the telephone calls of the viewers who make inquiries, is or is not protected by freedom of expression.

It points out that it is lawful for the defendant journalist, signatory of the article, to believe that the fortune-telling activities of the plaintiff and those of the protagonists of other similar programs constitute a hoax or that an unjustified or disproportionate amount is charged for calls and waiting for that he submits to those who call, and that she expresses it in the article.

Expressions that are offensive due to their meaning, if they are considered in isolation, cannot be considered as an illegal interference if they are provided with the informative or evaluative purpose that is intended in critical contexts.

In this case, a mere reading of the headlines, and the content of the entire article, clearly shows that the plaintiff is not accused of committing a crime of fraud, but rather that the journalist classifies the television tarot business as deception.

In addition, truthful information was disseminated on a topic of general interest; and the critical and scathing opinion that is made about these programs is protected by freedom of expression, without using offensive terms disconnected from the opinion that is to be conveyed.