Dee v Telegraph Media Group Ltd  concerned an article by the defendant newspaper describing the claimant as “world’s worst tennis professional”.
The case summary contains 334 words.
Media Law – Tennis player – Article – Action for libel – Newspaper publisher
In Dee v Telegraph Media Group Ltd , the claimant, a tennis player who had lost a lot matches, brought an action for libel against the defendant, newspaper publisher (the Daily Telegraph). The claimant sued the defendant because of an article published by the Daily Telegraph under the heading on the front page – “World’s worst tennis pro wins at last”.
The defendant denied that the article was defamatory. It argued that the claimant indeed lost 54 consecutive matches. He was ranked as the world’s worst professional tennis player. To sum up, the newspaper’s defence was that the facts in the article were true. Also, the claimant himself admitted that he lost 54 successive matches in international tournaments.
Whether the front page and article in sports section were sufficiently closely connected as to be regarded as a single publication?
Whether the article was defamatory to the claimant?
The Claimant lost his libel action against the defendant publisher.
On the first issue, the Court held that there was a close cross-reference on the front page telling the reader where to find the full story. So, there was an obvious and clear link between the front page and the article itself. Also, it was obvious to all readers of the front page that it did not constitute the full story.
On the second issue, the Court found that the statement in the article was not defamatory as it was true. The claimant indeed suffered a lot of defeats on the international level. He also admitted that he lost 54 successive matches in international tournaments.
References:  EWHC 924 (QB);  4 WLUK 472;  E.M.L.R. 20; (2010) 160 N.L.J. 653;  C.L.Y. 841.
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