Worcester MA Police Won’t Provide Information To Newspaper


The Worcester, Ma., police department is feuding with the Telegram & Gazette newspaper, reports Poynter Online. Tensions arose after the paper ran stories questioning expenses such as overtime paid to the police mechanic, who is the chief’s brother, editor Leah Lamson said. The agency’s spokesman refused to speak to a particular reporter. Last month, after a story questioned the value of master’s degrees that made some officers eligible for annual bonuses, the agency refused to release information about crimes heard over the scanner to the newspaper until days later. The department said the newspaper “now places a premium on hyperbole over reality, fiction over fact, and innuendo over truth.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa announced a media ban in September against CBS affiliate WTSP-TV, blasting a particular reporter, Mike Deeson, in a news release for being rude, unethical, and dishonest. Media outlets can fight for access to information under open-records and public-records laws, but “there is no law requiring that any public agency has to talk to you,” said Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “There is no law requiring them to behave like grown-ups.”

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