National Enquirer Case Study

Case Study
2 pages (500 words)

What kind of paper is the National Enquirer?

National Enquirer is a national weekly newspaper (super market tabloid) located in Florida, America with a total circulation of more than 5 million copies. Out of these 5 million copies, 600,000 copies are selling in California alone. National Enquirer publishes sensational storeys/news like most of the other newspapers in order to increase their circulation.  It is well-known for exaggerating, as well as fabricating information in its articles focusing mainly on celebrity news, gossip, and crime.

Was it ethical for the National Enquirer to try to avoid suit in California?

The given case of National Enquirer with Shirley Jones, an entertainer and a California resident, raised many ethical issues. National Enquirer tried to avoid suit in California (Shirley Jones’ home state) because they in their opinion since the news paper is operating from Florida, they have to obey the Florida laws alone. If the news paper was circulating only in Florida and dealing with the issues happening only in Florida, the claims might have been justified. But the readers of the newspaper are not limited to the Floridian community alone and hence it is necessary for National Enquirer to respect he laws, wherever they operate. It is unethical to cause deliberate damages to a person in California and asking her to come to Florida for conducting her case.

Are the defendants subject to suit in California? Why or why not?

Jurisdiction over petitioner in California is proper because of their intentional conduct in Florida calculated to cause injury to respondent in California. Moreover, the actions causing the effects in California were performed outside the State did not prevent the State from asserting jurisdiction over a cause of action arising out of those effects (U.S. Supreme Court, 2010). The National Enquirer can put forward their claims and arguments in the Californian court as the defamation is occurred in California. The newspaper is located in Florida while the petitioner is staying in California. The petitioner has every right to file the lawsuit in California since she has suffered defamation mainly in California. It is not ethical for the newspaper to ask the petitioner to file the case in Florida as they are operating from that region. The defamation occurred in California as per the Californian law might not be a defamation as per the Florida laws. Since the petitioner is staying in California and obeying the laws of California, she has every right to conduct her case in California itself. It is the newspaper’s duty to obey the laws of each state in which they are selling their paper.


  1. S. Supreme Court (2010) CALDER v. JONES, 465 U.S. 783 (1984) 465 U.S. 783 CALDER ET AL. v. JONES APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA, SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT, Retrieved on March 8, 2010 from