The White Plains Journal News hired “armed security personnel at two of its offices” amidst threats against the newspaper and its staff for its December report identifying which local residents have gun permits, the New York Times reported.
As iMediaEthics has written, the Journal News said its report was “important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings” and that it got the data from a Freedom of Information request. According to the Times, the newspaper’s publisher, Janet Hasson, continued to defend the Journal News’ report and plans to add to its list of identified permit holders.
Since that report, the newspaper has received a “menacing e-mail,” the Chicago Tribune wrote. And, in a later story reporting that because identifying information about the newspaper’s staff has been published in response, the Times added that the author of the report, Dwight Worley, “said he had received mainly taunting phone calls” and some threatening phone calls. Further, another staffer at the paper told the Times that “she has had to disconnect her phone” because of the revealed information.
But, “Putnam County oficials” including New York state Senator Greg Ball have said they “won’t be releasing its pistol permit records,” the Journal News noted in its own report.
Gawker noted in a Jan. 8 post that within 75 minutes of its publishing a “446-page list of every licensed gun owner in New York City” created from “the NYPD … via a Freedom of Information Law request,” it also started receiving threats. According to Gawker, its list only included “names, not addresses” and that it was all “information that was already publicly available.”