Matthew Keys: Reuters ‘was looking for a reason to dispose of me’

April 23, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

Matthew Keys | CJR | Politico | Twitchy | The Atlantic Wire
Matthew Keys writes that Reuters gave him several reasons for dismissing him, including the fact that he tweeted information he’d heard over police scanners during the manhunt for the Boston bombings suspects. Keys tweeted on Monday that the news service had let him go.

“I’ve stated before I was unaware of several media reports sourcing law enforcement regarding scanner traffic,” Keys writes. “As soon as I learned about the reports, I erred on the side of caution and stopped tweeting information heard over the scanner.” He continues:

It’s unclear if any law enforcement official or agency reached out to Reuters to make the same request reported by other news organizations, but Reuters has made it clear that it does not need to independently reach out to law enforcement before complying with a request — if CBS News reports it, that’s good enough for Reuters.

Keys restates this position in an interview with CJR’s Sara Morrison: “As far as I’m aware, there was no request by law enforcement on social media and no request by law enforcement by way of a press release or media statement asking for people on Twitter to not tweet emergency scanner traffic.”

Well, there was this.

“‘Broadcasting tactical positions of homes being searched’ and ‘publishing emergency scanner traffic on Twitter’ are not the same thing,” Keys writes in an email to Poynter. “Publishing on Twitter that police on the scanner have a suspect is not the same as publishing on Twitter the locations of officers. I believe the request published on Twitter — twice — by law enforcement dealt with broadcast media who had set up live television cameras in neighborhoods were operating.”

The Newspaper Guild of New York is contesting Keys’ dismissal, its secretary-treasurer Peter Szekely said in a statement. Keys’ lawyer Jay Leiderman tweeted this morning that Keys has an arraignment scheduled Tuesday. He was indicted last month and charged with helping the hacking group Anonymous to deface a Tribune Co. website.


Related: Boston Police to reporters: Don’t quote scanners | Reuters fires Matthew Keys