Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'USA Today' Editor's Column Defends Former Reporter

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'USA Today' Editor's Column Defends Former Reporter

Article excerpt

USA Today Editor Ken Paulson spoke out in support of former reporter Toni Locy, who has been found in contempt of court for refusing to reveal a source for her coverage of the 2001 anthrax attacks, in a strong column Wednesday.

The piece, titled, "The real cost of fining a reporter," criticizes federal efforts to fine Locy for refusing to testify in the civil case brought against the federal government by Stephen Hatfill, a former U.S. government researcher who had been described by federal investigators as a "a person of interest" in the case.

"Virtually every day in this country, in communities large and small, news organizations reveal misconduct or betrayal of the public trust by public officials," Paulson wrote. "They base their reporting on their own investigations or, at times, those of law enforcement agencies.

"That's why the decision by federal Judge Reggie Walton to hold former USA TODAY reporter Toni Locy in contempt of court for refusing to reveal her law enforcement sources in the anthrax-letters case is so disturbing," he adds. …

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