Are there any reasons to only sue a newspaper (the corporation) for libel and not the individual reporter who libeled you?
In addition to the other answer which, correctly, notes that the publisher is more likely to be in a position of being able to pay any damages awarded, there is one other good reason to sue the publisher rather than the journalist...
The journalist cannot print a retraction or correction with the same reach as the original article - only the publisher can do that, and they won’t necessarily do it just because the journalist wants them to.
English Law answer:
Both the newspaper that published and the individual who wrote the defamatory statement may be sued for defamation. You may choose to sue one or sue both as co-defendants.
The most common reason to sue the publication over the individual writer is because the publication is more likely to pay damages.
If you sued the reporter alone, and he has any insurance, the insurance company will certainly force the newspaper to sit at the defense table as a co-defendant. The newspaper has deeper pockets and was ultimately responsible for editing and selecting the reporter's article for publication.
Further, the newspaper may willingly leap to the defendant's table, as a matter of protecting reporters. Imagine what happens if they leave the reporters twisting in the wind: The reporter's financial life is ruined and 2 groups of people get two strong signals:
- Wrongdoers learn they can reliably use SLAPP techniques to silence reporters with impunity and control the media.
- All the reporters quit because it's not worth the risk.
As a result, the newspaper has to step up to shield the reporter... or they won't have any reporters.
And it's likely the newspaper's insurance will cover the reporter in any case. Hence, going after the reporter is a pointless act, and worse, going after the reporter makes your complaint look like a petty harassment/SLAPP action, and gives the judge a stronger basis to dismiss it as such.