San Diego SPJ Statement on inewsource Lawsuit

The Society of Professional Journalists’ San Diego chapter strongly condemns any attempt to retaliate against a news organization for critical coverage by filing unrelated lawsuits. The timing of one lawsuit suggests that is exactly what happened in San Diego.

On Feb. 23, San Diego’s inewsource published the first in a series of articles that were critical of prominent local attorney Cory Briggs. On April 9, San Diegans for Open Government, a group that Briggs has often represented, sued inewsource and its executive director over its relationship with KPBS, particularly for its office lease at San Diego State University. The lawsuit is the subject of a court hearing Friday.

There is a right way and a wrong way to raise complaints about news coverage, and this is the wrong way. News organizations — many facing severe financial challenges — should not have to defend coverage by spending significant resources on legal challenges that are unrelated to their critical reporting.

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