Lots of ranting both ways about the decision of the Journal News in New York to post an online database of local gun-permit holders in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting. People claim its irresponsible journalism. It’s dangerous. It’s an invasion of privacy etc. Others claim right to know.
From a non-journalist’s perspective I question whether this was journalism. It was more in the nature of tabloid blogging. I believe a newspaper’s function is to report the news, not create it. The fact that there are however many permits in that particular area -whether they are increasing, decreasing in the wake of the tragedy is in my opinion, news. Who actually hold the permit is in my opinion, not news and is meant to sensationalize the story. If one of the permit holders actually killed someone with that weapon then that particular incident is news. The Journal News had a right to do what it did. That does not make it right however. This was not journalism. It was TMZ and the New York Post. “Did you hear honey… Joe Blow next door owns a gun….” It is however what I have come to expect and has often become more the norm in a world where everyone is a “Journalist” so newspapers walk and cross ethical lines to keep up. Welcome to the gossip world of “news gathering”. The Journal News makes me proud to be an American.