The right of a free press is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. However, this does not give people the right to say anything they want or newspapers the right to publish it. Care must be taken so the publishing of the news and peoples’ opinions do not violate the rights of others and give rise to a cause of action for libel.
When in doubt as to whether a story is libelous, one should not publish or broadcast it until you are sure it is not libelous. When the story or letter written involves someone’s reputation and their family, you should treat it like fire. The facts should be confirmed and verified.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, good judgment was not used in the printing of a letter written to the editor of the Anson Record titled “A cautionary tale” by Harold Skipper. The false and defamatory statements made in his letter were hurtful to myself and my brother. I am not going to dignify his statements with a response. All I will say is I loved my mother, I respected her, and I honored her, and upon her death my brother and I carried out her wishes in regards to her will to the very best of our ability.
Kay Skipper Strickland