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It has happened a few times -- Jewish neighbors or acquaintances, some of them communal leaders and/or public figures -- have been arrested and charged with a crime or crimes of such a nature they are heavily reported on by the news media. As I understand it, an axiom of loshon hara is to work to avoid listening to loshon hara as well as to not spread it. So even if I avoid repeating the story, am I forbidden by this halacha to read the (often) daily reports about the latest allegations made against these persons in my community?

  • I'm writing a comment not an answer cause i don't have strength to check up maareh makomos but heres what i (think i) remember from Shmiras halashon. Even if everybody knows, i.e. apei tlasa three people know, it is still lashon hara if there is intent to be derisive about the information. Also for some reason hearing lashon hara about a Jew from a nonjew is akin to apikorsus. – user6591 Oct 29 '14 at 1:19
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    Which is the bigger sin, the crime itself or reading about it in a newspaper? – JJLL Oct 29 '14 at 2:32
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    @JJLL Why would it matter? – Ypnypn Oct 29 '14 at 3:29
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    Why is your question restricted only to neighbor/acquaintances? – user4523 Oct 29 '14 at 5:08
  • @GeminiMan I'm just trying to stay away from the public figure area. If it doesn't matter that you're talking about Dinah the movie star and Reb Plonie the local butcher, then say so. – Bruce James Oct 29 '14 at 5:27

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