Tough Call for Any Editor

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December 9, 2008 12:12 p.m.

One bit of news from Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference was that he had asked, and the Chicago Tribune had complied, that they hold off on reporting about the investigation:

Here’s a statement from the Tribune editor Gerould Kern:

The Chicago Tribune investigated allegations of misconduct involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich independent of the U.S. attorney’s criminal probe.

As a standard practice, our reporters contact individuals involved in these stories for confirmation and comment prior to publication. Consequently, we contacted the U.S. attorney’s office in the course of our reporting.

On occasion, prosecutors asked us to delay publication of stories, asserting that disclosure would jeopardize the criminal investigation. In isolated instances, we granted the requests, but other requests were refused.

The Chicago Tribune’s interest in reporting the news flows from its larger obligation of citizenship in a democracy. In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens. That’s what we did in this case.

Zach Roth has more.

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