Chicago Now editors are under fire for allegedly succumbing to pressure from Time Out Chicago Editor-In-Chief/General Manager Frank Sennett to remove a series of blog posts on Arresting Tales, a Chicago Now blog written by a veteran cop. The two posts in question outlined a "template" for the aftermath of urban police murders, generalizing witness statements and standardizing legal fallout as it specifically related to the recent police murder of George Lash.
Critics of the Arresting Tales posts accused Joe The Cop, the blog's author, of being insensitive to the plight of young black America, in addition to more serious accusations like racism and ignorance. The posts received numerous reader comments, most in support of the post. Links to the Arresting Tales posts in question were initially published by Chicago Now's twitter feed and Facebook, yet were removed nearly three days later, citing non-compliance with the Chicago Now Blogger Guidelines. Chicago Now issued a statement regarding the deleted posts here.
Some are calling this move "censorship" and have become angry. Others feel the original post was too insensitive to the families of the victims of police brutality. Bigger questions this event raises are the duties of a newspaper to its publics (readers rights to truth, bloggers rights to speech, editor's rights to edit) and the question of free speech in general. Is offending someone worth censorship? Are bloggers journalists? (Read Sennett's thoughts on the matter here.)
Filed under: Chicago Injustice