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Last month, the Journal News in Westchester, New York, published maps with the names and addresses of people holding pistol permits in two counties not far from Newtown, Conn. When it tried to get the names from Putnam County, officials there refused to give out the information. After public backlash from the local community and the nation, the paper has hired armed security to stand guard at the building’s entrance.
Critics of the paper say the Journal News invaded the privacy of the permit-holders; others say the paper had a present publicly available information.
Responding to the criticism, the Journal News released the following statement to the Poynter Insititute:
“Frequently, the work of journalists is not popular. One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.”
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