Being a writer for an online website means great exposure and some good money for you if you are writing for the right site. However, writing for that site doesn’t mean that you can write whatever you want whenever you want. Writing for a website means that you have to be smart and follow some guidelines because even though you are probably protected by a freedom of speech, it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want. The fact is you have to be smart if you want to write whatever you want.
When you are talking about a public figure, you are usually given a big leeway to what you say and do. Let’s take a prominent public figure like the President of the United States. You can do a lot via you website in relation to the President. You can openly criticize the President for his foreign policy and you are certainly allowed to make fun of the way that he dresses or the way he holds the pen in his hand. So the question is what can’t you say about him?
Let’s say that you believe the President is selling illegal arms to a rival country; you can make a theory about it as long as you make it clear that it is just your theory and not fact. But let’s say you decide to run it as a news story on a site that is known for its news; then you could be in quite a bit of trouble. While you are allowed in most countries to say what you want, you cannot make up things even if you are sure in your heart of mind that he might be doing something that is illegal.
People have the right to have news stories and things said about them that do not unfairly sway opinion. Keep that in mind.