ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES EXCLUSIVE
The newspaper had to go into virtual lock-down after giving law abiding gun-owners the “sex offender treatment” following the Newtown massacre. Journal News publisher Janet Hasson and editor-in-chief Cyndee Royle (alias) infamously published an interactive gun-map showing the names and home addresses of all pistol permit holders in the Rockland and Westchester counties, unexpectedly causing an international backlash from gun owners, law enforcement and the general public.
After receiving thousands of communications from angry people, including some deemed to be threatening by the newspaper’s management, armed guards were hired to watch the offices of the newspaper, as well as for the homes of some staff. In addition, top executives were put up in hotels on the newspaper’s dime and an unconfirmed report said the newspaper paid for therapists to counsel any staff members disturbed by the letters, the attention or the fact that pr0-gun bloggers had published their names and addresses.
While the exact dollar figure for all that activity is not available, a Gannett mole told the Rockland County Times that four menial staffers were terminated this spring at the newspaper, and it’s likely that the cost incurred due to the gun-map fiasco was the justification for the layoffs.
What has bothered local Journal News staffers most about the termination of their menial coworkers is that Gannett has enjoyed a profitable year and could have easily stepped in and covered the cost for all the hub-bub. After all, the story was an international sensation and something certainly on Gannett’s radar.
Then again, perhaps Gannett CEO Gracia Martore is too annoyed that heat from the Journal News’ gun-map led to her own family’s address in Great Falls, Virginia being published on a blogger’s map and consequently armed men being hired to protect her house.
Last week the Rockland County Times revealed that the Journal News filed new FOILs with the County Clerk offices in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties, requesting a list of all pistol permit holders who did not opt to make their records private. The newspaper has not confirmed what they plan to do with the information.