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Monday, February 12, 2007

Goodfellas changes the rules of journalism

Belfast restaurant Goodfellas is re-writing the rules about whether journalists can voice their opinions freely.

When Irish News journalist Caroline Workman criticised the pizzeria giving it a paltry 1 out of 5 and commenting that its staff were unhelpful and the chicken marsala was "so sweet as to be inedible" the owner decided to take legal action over "the hatchet job" of the reviewer.

Goodfellas won and was awarded £25,000 over the review last week, which was originally published in 2000.

The Irish News commented: "The outcome of the case raises profound questions involving the freedom of the press." The National Union of Journalists described the verdict as "disturbing" according to the Guardian.

So where does it leave the boundaries between being able to voice an opinion and writing defamatory comments?

We must all hope the Irish News wins on appeal.


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