Much has been written and said by other journalists about a gun map posted on The Journal News’ website, lohud.com, for 27 days beginning Dec. 23.
One of the most thought-provoking comes from media consultant and blogger Jeff Jarvis, who dissected his own feelings on the map last week and explained them on his blog, “BuzzMachine.” An excerpt from his post, “Public is public … except in journalism?”:
It is not up to journalists to decide that gun permits are public information. It’s up to us as citizens to decide that, as a matter of law. If there is something wrong with that, then change the law. If society is not comfortable with making that information public, then don’t try to make it somewhat public, public-with-effort (like TV stations’ campaign commercial revenue). There’s no half-pregnant. In the net age, there’s no slightly public.”
The map, which we built from a public database and which identified the names and addresses of gun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties with a dot, was published with “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood,” a story explaining what information is public after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Twenty first-graders and six adults died at Sandy Hook Elementary before the shooter killed himself that day.