09 December 2008

The Larger Obligation of Citizenship in a Democracy

Statement from Gerould Kern, editor of the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune investigated allegations of misconduct involving Illinois Gov.
Rod Blagojevich independent of the U.S. attorney's criminal probe.

As a standard practice, our reporters contact individuals involved in these stories for confirmation and comment prior to publication. Consequently, we contacted the U.S. attorney's office in the course of our reporting.

On occasion, prosecutors asked us to delay publication of stories, asserting that disclosure would jeopardize the criminal investigation. In isolated instances, we granted the requests, but other requests were refused.

The Chicago Tribune's interest in reporting the news flows from its larger obligation of citizenship in a democracy. In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens. That's what we did in this case.

Well, the Chicago Trib has not always shown an interest in "its larger obligation of citizenship in a democracy" (and was
apparently still defending itself in 2006), but, at least recently, they are doing better than the New Orc Times.

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