The applicability of the retraction statute in all cases in questionable because the Arizona Supreme Court has held that the retraction statute violates art. 18, § 6 of the Arizona constitution to the extent that it eliminates “general damages for both loss of reputation and emotional harm, preventing those damaged by defamation from recovering general damages for actual injury.” Boswell v. Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., 152 Ariz. 9, 19 (Ariz. 1986).
The retraction statute also does not apply not apply “to any publication or broadcast made within thirty days preceding any election, if such publication or broadcast is designed to in any way influence the results of such election.” A.R.S. § 12‑653.05.
At least one federal court in Arizona has stated that the retraction statute applies only to “libel actions based on newspaper or magazine articles” and does not apply to comments made on an online forum. Dealer Comp. Servs. v. Fullers’ White Mt. Motors, Inc., No. CV07-00748-PCT-JAT, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83311 at *19 (D. Ariz. Oct. 16, 2008).
Other Statutory Protections for Periodicals and Broadcasters
A.R.S. § 12‑653 provides:
An action for damages shall not lie against the editor, publisher, or proprietor of a newspaper or periodical for publication of a report, proceedings or other matter published at the instance of a public officer acting in compliance with law.
A.R.S. § 12‑652 provides: