By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Journalism still legal in Massachusetts

Not that this was going anywhere, but the state’s Civil Service Commission has declined to punish the Eagle-Tribune of North Andover for committing journalism.

Michael Neve filed a complaint against the Tribune after the paper photographed him leaving a hearing at which he testified to having offered a $15,000 bribe to Methuen Mayor William Manzi. (Manzi reportedly did not accept the bribe, and the case is actually about something else.)

Neve’s lawyer had persuaded the commission to bar anyone from taking a photo during and after the hearing, held Oct. 30 in Boston. The Tribune responded by snapping Neve’s picture outside, after he’d left the building. Neve’s lawyer, James Krasnoo, tried to argue that “after” encompassed his client’s perambulations outdoors, in a public place, which is quite a stretch. By that definition, it’s still “after.”

I think it’s a good result for the paper and I think it’s the right result for the paper’s readers as well,” the Tribune’s lawyer, friend of Media Nation Rob Bertsche, is quoted as saying.

My only quibble: the Tribune should have posted the photo online.

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1 Comment

  1. NewsHound

    Taking a picture after the hearing? It appears that Neve is the only person in the entire world who had been granted such protection. Kind of silly, since the commission clearly lacks authority to protect Neve forever, where ever.As far as publishing, clearly this a protection clearly resolved in Near Vs. Minnesota, aside from the Pentagon Papers.

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