By Mark Joyella, [email protected] October 3, 2014
The news director of CBS affiliate KIRO-TV has been forced to explain why the name, address, and phone number of a woman claiming she was assaulted by a star NFL football player were released in a reporter’s tweet. Jake Milstein posted a statement online that read in part, “we have taken the address down from Twitter. We understand the concerns it raised and appreciate the feedback.”
It started with the sensational story of a woman accusing Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch of assault. The story then took a turn when police in Bellevue, Washington announced the woman who made the charge was under investigation for filing a false report. Amy Clancy, a veteran KIRO reporter, and tweeted a photo of the police report, with the message “Wanna know WHO accused Marshawn Lynch of assault?” The photo attached to the tweet included the woman’s personal information.
The documents are public record, but I found this troubling. Her name, address and phone number are now out there to the thousands of Seahawks fans. And she hasn’t been charged with a crime.
Seattle Weekly also asks about the ethics of releasing the personal info:
It’s a tricky situation. As Clancy has accurately pointed out in subsequent tweets defending herself, the information is public record, and anyone interested could have easily obtained it without her. That said, most average football fans would never go to that length, and they’re now armed with the info without having to do anything but follow Clancy on Twitter. If the woman – who, as the Romenesko letter writer notes, has not yet been charged with a crime – faces harassment, is that Clancy’s fault? Or even something she should feel guilty about?