The Gazette newspaper in eastern Iowa released what appears to be a new policy for handling unpublishing requests. This policy would potentially unpublish historic articles on non-felony and non-violent crimes.
“The Gazette has been receiving an increasing number of requests from people who say they’re being impacted long after charges were dropped or their court case has been completed,” the Gazette says on its website. “Whether it’s a job search, housing or kids Googling a parent’s name, it’s difficult to fully put the incident behind them.”
According to the Gazette‘s announcement, which appears to have been published Sept. 11, the newspaper will consider non-violent, non-felony crime unpublishing requests on a case-by-case basis, but won’t unpublish certain stories. Exceptions include stories involving “celebrities, local or elected officials” or stories that involved crimes “resulting in the death of another individual.”
The Gazette also said it will review requests from victims of crimes who don’t want to have their name in stories anymore.
The Gazette also requires that criminal cases have been “adjudicated” with a dismissal or judgment, and any punishment or expungement has been completed.
“The following criteria will be considered for the removal process and may impact the decision of whether to remove a story:
• “Severity and nature of the incident that led to charges.
• “Whether others were injured in the incident.
• “Ongoing threat to public safety.”