No country for old media executives

October 19, 2007

sherriff-joe.jpgThe heads of alternative press publisher Village Voice Media may not be anybody’s best friend at their namesake New York newspaper, but on Thursday night they earned some street cred in the journalism world by getting themselves jailed for what they ran in one of their paper.

Here’s the story, courtesy of The Arizona Republic:

Phoenix New Times owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested Thursday night by Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies on charges of revealing grand jury information, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from a story published under their byline in the Thursday edition of New Times, in which they describe a subpoena the paper reportedly received from a grand jury convened by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, and the two wondered in the opening paragraphs of the article whether they could face legal repercussions for making the subpoena public, but they viewed the subpoena as an attack on freedom of the press.

The alternative weekly newspaper, in its cover story, said the subpoena was part of an investigation orchestrated to get back at its reporters and the critical stories they wrote of County Attorney Andrew Thomas’ political ally Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Republic noted that the subpoena demands information from the reporters (tapes, notes, etc, as the Associated Press reports), as well as information about people who visited the Web site since Jan. 1, 2004 and what Web sites they visited before going to the New Times.

Here is the Village Voice story on the arrests, and here is David Carr’s coverage at The New York Times. And then, of course, there is the story itself.

The AP said Thomas declined to comment, as did Arpaio. According to that report, Arpaio said: “You do know that I’m a victim in this whole thing.”

(Photo of Joe Arpaio: Reuters)

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Posted by attorney » No country for old media executives | Report as abusive

greed and capitalism go vis-a-vis but hard to police them as both are intangible concepts than red communist flag depicting incapability of equality!

Posted by 360View | Report as abusive