Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Kansas paper fires reporter who took a stand on her own to protect a confidential source

In Dodge City, Kan., the home of Marshal Dillon and Old West characters fictional and factual, reporter Claire O’Brien has paid the price for being a sort of journalistic cowboy in a judicial shootout over confidential sources.

O'Brien, a reporter for the 9,700-circulation Dodge City Daily Globe, was fired Friday, The Associated Press reports. O'Brien initially refused to appear in court when subpoenaed to testify about a confidential source and later relented when her source revealed himself. She says the firing was retaliation for comments she made to news media about the Globe refusing to support her stand. The newspaper says it doesn't comment on personnel issues.

You can read our previous report about O'Brien's comments and legal battle here. O'Brien told AP after she testified, she was forced to sign some disciplinary forms, including one claiming she had defamed GateHouse Media, owner of the Globe. She also said the locks on the newspaper building had been changed after the hearing, she was the only reporter not given a key, and a manager was required to be present whenever she was in the building. (Read more)

No comments: