‘Journalists should not be threatened,’ says Journal News publisher

The New York Times

Employees of The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News have received threats from people upset the paper published a map of handgun permits, Christine Haughney reports:

Personal information about editors and writers at the paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school; some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).

Journal News Publisher Janet Hasson “has paid for staff members who do not feel safe in their homes to stay at hotels, offered guards to walk employees to their cars, encouraged employees to change their home telephone numbers and has been coordinating with the local police,” Haughney writes. Gannett CEO Gracia C. Martore “also received threatening messages,” she reports.

Related: The “Internet wasn’t born yesterday,” Emily Bazelon argues in Slate, so New York legislators “have had time to choose to leave the open records act as is” | New York City Mayor Bloomberg uncertain about paper’s gun map (Politico)

Previously: Newspaper publishes names, addresses of gun owners | Where The Journal News went wrong in publishing names, addresses of gun owners | Newspaper can’t have more gun permit data, county says | Journal News will screen incoming mail after it receives suspicious powder | New York politicians will push for law to keep handgun records secret

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  • Patrick Aldridge

    In Texas registration of firearms is not required. It is a shame…the law abiding citizens that own firearms are being scrutinized, but the non-law abiding ones that own firearms (which are just as many if not more) are able to still live under the guise of anonymous without fear of persecution.

  • Rick Suttles

    I read this on another blogs comments.

    http://co-ironwill.blogspot.com/2013/01/journal-news-what-goes-around.html#comment-formWrite to the Board of Directors of Gannett to stop this ‘class warfare’ against law abiding Americans.

    The following list contains the private residence addresses of the Board of Directors for Gannett Company, Inc.
    These people are ultimately responsible for the conduct of those employed in businesses owned by Gannett Inc.
    The
    releasing of the names and addresses of permitted gun owners by the
    Journal News of White Plains, New York which is a Gannett Inc. company
    needs to be addressed. It seems that the private gun owners only crime
    for this mistreatment was that they followed the current letter of the
    law regarding firearm permitting. The Journal News punished them for it.
    This is unacceptable.

    Write to the Board of Directors at Gannett Inc. and demand action.

    Marjorie Magner 190 E 72nd ST, Apt 35D, New York, NY 10021
    Gracia C. Martore 728 Springdale Drive, Great Falls, VA 22066
    John E. Cody 68 Wyn Oak, Nashville, TN 37205
    Howard D. Elias 137 Lake St., Sherborn, MA 01770
    Arthur H. Harper 6105 155th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006
    John Jeffry Louis (w) 227 West Monroe Street, Ste. 4320, Chicago, IL
    Scott K. McCune 44 Huntington Rd, Atlanta, GA
    Duncan M. McFarland 299 Clapboardtree St., Westwood, MA 02090
    Susan Ness 5505 Devon Rd. Bethesda, MD 20814
    Neal Shapiro 300 Central Park W #1819G, New York, NY 10024

    “Curiosity leads to the truth.” Neal Shapiro

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.knilands Robert Knilands

    Imagine that — security for the president’s family. Boy, you really blew the lid off that secret.

    I know, I know. Your “point” is that somehow we should think less of Obama because he is pressing for regulations after yet another mass shooting incident, yet he has the gall to use the Secret Service protection his office requires.

  • NaotaChannel

    At the school Obama sends his children to – there are 11 armed security guards.

  • madnessofjack

    BOO HOO…Cry.Me.A.River………Like publishing the names of law abiding citizens didn’t have consequences?
    These people at Journal News are reaping what they sowed, Karma is a B*tch…..what goes around comes around.
    BTW.
    From Newsday
    “Journal News gun permit map endangers officers, officials say.
    Originally published: January 4, 2013 3:40 PM.
    Updated: January 4, 2013 4:01 PM.
    By SARAH ARMAGHAN.

    Snip
    “Inmates at the Rockland County jail are taunting corrections officers by saying they know the guards’ home addresses — information they got from the list published by Westchester-based newspaper, Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said.

    “Since about 9:30 this morning, I’ve been in a meeting with my corrections officers and their unions. They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That’s not acceptable to me,” Falco said at a news conference Friday morning in New City, where local leaders condemned the list.”

  • sargeh

    No, journalists should not be threatened. Nor should newspapers with an agenda intentionally expose myriads of citizens to danger. I worked on news desks at metros for 40 years and have never witnessed such an egregious use of a newspaper’s bully pulpit. I truly hope that the chickens don’t come home to roost. And, by the way, I am not a gun owner.

  • Dan Hall

    What nonsense it is that the Journal-News and so many other news organizations are framing this controversy as a clash between the First and Second Amendments.
    During 40 years as an editorial writer and columnist at a variety of newspapers around the country, I wrote probably a couple of dozen pieces advocating stronger gun laws. The Second Amendment should not be interpreted as the practically unlimited license the gun lobby likes to say it is.
    By the same token, we journalists need to recognize that while the First Amendment gives us (and all citizens) certain rights, we still have an obligation to exercise those rights in responsible ways. Hubris is one of the reasons so many citizens we presume to serve hold us in such low regard.
    The Journal-News editors committed an incredible invasion of the privacy of people who had done nothing illegal. More than that, they most likely did put some of those people in danger (police officers whose families could be targeted by criminals, people who really have real need to be able to protect themselves against mentally unstable ex-spouses, etc.)
    How ironic is it that editors and other employees of the Journal-News now have armed protection themselves?
    Obviously I hope no one gets hurt. I hope that those who are making threats be found and prosecuted.
    I also hope that governments at all levels don’t use this as an excuse to put up new walls guarding information that should be public.
    No doubt, though, many will.
    For that, the editors of the Journal-News, as well as those journalists who cheered them on, will have themselves to thank.

    Dan Hall
    Canandaigua, NY