Court tosses $25 million libel suit against Reveal

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting is celebrating the end of a four-year lawsuit brought by the subject of one of the newsroom’s stories.

The international aid group Planet Aid may appeal the case, but the initial victory is a welcome precedent for a news media industry that’s coming under increasing attack by wealthy people and organizations upset with investigative reporting.

The newsroom’s 2016 work raised questions about the charity’s ties to an alleged cult and whether U.S. government support was being used as intended.

Without free legal representation, simply defending against the $25 million lawsuit would have put the 44-year-old nonprofit newsroom out of business. The lawsuit is similar to other unsuccessful — but taxing — defamation actions filed against major news outlets. One notable exception was Hulk Hogan’s victory over Gawker, financed by billionaire Peter Thiel, which shut down that news operation.