Australian Journalism Lecturer Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Twitter Defamation

According to recent press reports, Australian journalism lecturer Julie Posetti is facing legal action from the editor-in-chief of high-profile magazine The Australian over comments she made on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Chris Mitchell is accusing Posetti of defamation, after she published several comments about him on Twitter. The ‘tweets’ related to and even paraphrased comments made by the former rural affairs reporter for The Australian, Asa Wahlquist. Mitchell claims by publishing these comments, whether she wrote them or not, Posetti has defamed him and the publication.

In an unusual twist to the story, Mitchell recently published a letter of demand his lawyers had sent to Posetti, flagging up the allegedly defamatory comments and demanding an apology from the journalism lecturer.

In a recent blog post, Posetti stated:

“My university has not received any communication from Mr Mitchell and I have been asked not to comment further on the detail of what transpired until we know what allegations are being made against me and the University and have had an opportunity to take legal advice,”

Should Mitchell pursue the lawsuit against Posetti, she may need the protection of a professional indemnity insurance policy which covers defamation.

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