The saga surrounding a Westchester, N.Y. newspaper’s decision to publish an interactive map showing the names and addresses of gun owners has taken an even more dramatic turn.Reporters are reportedly receiving envelopes filled with white power and feel so unsafe sleeping in their homes the newspaper is shelling out money for hotel rooms.
The Journal News’ map plots out names and addresses of registered gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties.
The map sparked such strong community outrage the newspaper hired armed guards to protect its headquarters.
But things are getting even worse for Journal News reporters, president and publisher Janet Hasson revealed to The New York Times.
From the Times’ story:
Some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).
Hasson told the Times she has paid for staff members to stay in hotels if they feel unsafe in their homes and has encouraged employees to change their home phone numbers.
She has also offered to have guards walk employees to their cars.
The Journal News itself is also receiving suspicious packages. The newspaper got envelopes containing suspicious white powder on both Wednesday and Friday of last week, the News reported Saturday. It turned out to be baking powder, but Hasson indicated the paper is taking the threats seriously.
“As journalists, we are prepared for criticism,” Hasson told the Times. “But in the U.S., journalists should not be threatened.”
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