Greenbelt News Review

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Greenbelt News Review
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Association
Publisher Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Association
Editor Mary Lou Williamson
Founded 1937
Headquarters 15 Crescent Road, Suite 100
Greenbelt, 20770
 United States

The Greenbelt News Review was established in 1937 as a volunteer cooperative shortly after settlement of Greenbelt, Maryland, and was originally called The Cooperator. It has been published without interruption every week since its founding, and is distributed free by a network of carriers to all city residents.[1]

1970 Supreme Court Libel Case[edit]

In 1965, an article by reporter Dorothy Sucher in the News Review published two quotations of citizen remarks at City Council meetings in which they characterized as "blackmail" the actions of Charles S. Bresler, a local real estate developer and member of the Maryland House of Delegates.[2] Bresler filed suit in 1966, claiming that he had become "the most hated man in Greenbelt."[3] Local volunteers formed a Freedom of the Press committee and went door to door to raise money for the paper's legal defense.[4]

Bresler received a $17,500 libel judgment from the Prince George's County Circuit Court, which was upheld by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 1969.[5]

In 1970, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously in favor of the News Review and overturned the lower courts' judgments. The Supreme Court held "that as a matter of constitutional law, the word 'blackmail' in these circumstances was not slander when spoken, and not libel when reported in the Greenbelt News Review."[6][7]


  1. ^ Knepper, Cathy D. (2001). Greenbelt, Maryland: A Living Legacy of the New Deal. Baltimore, Maryland: JHU Press. pp. 127–139. ISBN 0-8018-6490-9. 
  2. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (August 31, 2010). "Dorothy Sucher, Reporter in Press-Freedom Case, Dies at 77". New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ Osnos, Peter (1969-05-04). "Bresler Wins $17,500 Libel Appeal". The Washington Post. pp. Page A–11. 
  4. ^ Peterson, Heather Elizabeth. "The Cooperator: An Unofficial History of the Greenbelt News Review". Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Supreme Court Reverses News Review Libel Judgment" (PDF). Greenbelt News Review. 1970-05-21. pp. 1–2. 
  6. ^ Greenbelt Co-Op. Publ. Assn., Inc. v. Bresler, 398 U.S. 6 (1970).
  7. ^ "Supreme Court Curbs Libel Suits Over Reporting of Exaggerated Charges". The New York Times. 1970-05-19. p. 25. 

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