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Gazette should have published charging documents

2014-04-09T00:00:00Z 2014-04-10T17:14:04Z Gazette should have published charging documents The Billings Gazette
April 09, 2014 12:00 am

Regarding publication in the Gazette of stories about State Sen. Jason Priest and charges against him: With a long-established practice of providing access to charging documents as background information to news stories, to suddenly withhold that access because the editor believes, " ... the court documents could paint Priest in a harsh light," and then to claim "journalistic ethics" and "First Amendment concerns" as justification?

That, in legal terms, is nothing short of nonfeasance. There isn't a journalism course or instructor in the country that would tolerate such an abandonment of principle, even in a college newspaper, much less a regional daily.

Both Darrell Ehrlick and Michael Gulledge have violated the most basic responsibilities of journalism. It would be easy to speculate what might motivate such behavior, but none of the possible scenarios reflect anything but discredit to The Gazette.

Appalling and disgusting.

Fred Brewer


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