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I was troubled by an article of an Israeli journalist (who sees herself as frum) that included a gratuitous derogatory quote about the subject of the article. (She pointed out that a long-running feud existed between the subject and someone the subject mentioned then threw in the quote from the mentionee that simply was an attack on the subject's character*.) Didn't even seem like good journalism, but how could that be justified under Jewish law?

(* whereas the subject's comment was more substantive and relevant: "the Biden's administration's policies are being influenced by so-and-so..."

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    It's hard to answer without knowing details. There are various cases where lashon hara is allowed. It is also true that not all frum people are perfect.
    – N.T.
    Aug 8 at 4:19
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz has a recorded lecture about journalism and Lashon Hara. There are cases where the criteria of constructive disclosure are met; for instance, a politician who is taking bribes and not serving his/her constituents. Some celebrity's marriage falling apart would not clear that bar (who really needs to know this, and what harm is prevented?); he acknowledged that the private lives of politicians are more of a gray zone.
    – Shalom
    Aug 8 at 10:20

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Although there are many halachos in regards to Lashon Hara, the news industry is well known for rapant Lashon Hara and Motzei Shem Ra, as has been discussed by many Gedolim. Although in an ideal world you would be able to assume that since the writer is frum it isn't Lashon Hara, that is unfortunately not the case, especially in regards to the news industry. When you think about it a newspaper is inherently laden with Lashon Hara, especially in Israel where most of the people that will be written about are Jews - and that's the unfortunate reality.

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