A Florida Newspaper Is Along for the Ride — and Catches Flak

by: Paul Farhi | The Washinton Post

If a reporter and his newspaper know in advance — months in advance, as it turns out — that a man intended to undertake a stunt that could sow panic in the nation’s capital, are they obligated to alert law-enforcement authorities? And should they be faulted for not doing so until the last minute?

 

The Tampa Bay Times faced just such an ethical dilemma when it interviewed a Tampa-area resident named Doug Hughes last summer. Hughes certainly made good copy. He told the newspaper that he planned to breach restricted airspace and fly a small craft called a gyrocopter onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

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