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CPJ Issues Statement on Newspaper That Hired Armed Guards

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a non-profit committed to protecting journalists worldwide, has issued a statement calling for authorities to make sure Journal News reporters are protected.

"No journalist should be threatened in response to critical reporting,"said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior Americas program coordinator. "Authorities must ensure the safety of all Journal News staff members so they can continue to do their jobs without fear of reprisal."

The White Plains, New York-based daily began receiving threats by mail, phone, e-mail, and envelopes of white powder, after publishing amap of weapons permit holders in two counties it covers.

The map, which contained the names and addresses of more than 30,000 gun permit holders, was posted nine days after theSandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

All of the information in the database was public record, but gun supporters called publishing the information an invasion of privacy. One blogger went as far as publishing the names and address of journalists and executives at the Journal News in retaliation.

The paper has sincehired armed guards to protect the building. The publisher, Janet Hasson, has paid for employees to stay in hotels if they don’t feel safe at home and has advised employees to change their telephone numbers.

CPJ has a journalist assistance program that includes family support and relocation assistance, but the organization has been unable to reach Hasson.