Secrecy is trumping public interest in gun control coverage

Our impoverished national conversation on guns appears to have a new casualty: public information.

The latest victim is the Bangor Daily News in Bangor, Me., whose request for the names of concealed gun permit holders – a public record in Maine – unleashed a firestorm. The paper withdrew its request. [Read more...]

Journalists Worry About Publishing Too Much Information

(Wikimedia Commons)

Jeff Jarvis tackles the question of how ethical and shrewd it is for the media to publish things like a map of gun permit applicants.  Some journalists, like David Carr and Jim Wilse (who Jarvis says is the “best American newspaper editor [he's] ever worked with”), have felt uneasy about such releases.

Jarvis comes to a different conclusion: “It is not up to journalists to decide what gun permits are public information.  It’s up to us as citizens to decide that, as a matter of law.  If there is something wrong with that, then change the law.  If society is not comfortable with making that information public, then don’t try to make it somewhat public, public-with-effort…There’s no half-pregnant.  In the net age, there’s no slightly public.”