Guild members lead effort to halt leak investigation in Minneapolis

mnGuildLogoThe Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild warns of a “chilling effect on free speech” if the City of Minneapolis continues its high-priced investigation into the identity of a confidential source behind a recent Star Tribune exposé.

The Guild, which represents journalists at the Star Tribune and other news outlets, has teamed up with fellow free-speech advocates to pressure the city to halt its investigation immediately.

The newly formed Committee to Defend the First Amendment includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the Society of Professional Journalists. The committee is circulating a petition against the investigation, which supporters can sign here.

Reporting by Guild member Andy Mannix into Minneapolis police officers’ role in the increased use of Ketamine drew nationwide attention in June. A confidential source provided Mannix with a document from the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review that served as the basis for much of Mannix’s reporting.

Now, the city is paying a law firm $275 an hour to uncover that source’s identity.

“Our journalist members know the importance of whistleblowers in the work that we do, and such an investigation could have a chilling effect on free speech,” Guild President Janet Moore wrote in an email to union members. “The Guild and other free-speech advocates, including the ACLU, the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, and the Society of Professional Journalists, have formed a coalition called the Committee to Defend the First Amendment. The Coalition is calling for the city to halt the leak investigation.”

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