By William J. Kole, New England bureau chief, The Associated Press BOSTON – It’s journalism’s dirty little secret: Just because we have information doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to use it. When The Associated Press asked officials in Newtown, Conn., for the tapes of 911 calls made during last December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary […]
The press corps and the Vermont chapter of the ACLU scored a major victory in the Vermont Legislature last week. Lawmakers approved a change in the public records law that gives citizens access to records associated with police investigations of criminal activity. Gov. Peter Shumlin supported opening police records to public scrutiny, and he is expected to sign the legislation into law this month.
The New England First Amendment Coalition registered “extreme dismay” at the government seizure of phone records of The Associated Press and urged Attorney General Eric Holder to work for passage of a federal shield law and take other steps to avert a repeat of the intrusion that was part of a probe into a security leak.
It is deeply troubling to see how history repeats itself with the IRS going after conservative non-profit groups and the Justice Department overreaching with its probe into the cellular, office and home telephone records of individual Associated Press reporters and editors in Washington, New York, and Hartford, Conn., as well as the main number for AP reporters covering Congress.