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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Newspaper under fire for story based on police report

Although newspapers have a "fair report privilege" ensuring their liable for printing potentially false information they obtained from police reports, a Houston lawyer says an Arkansas newspaper did not proceed responsibly in this case, the AP reported. The article in question centers around a woman who reported that she had been raped at Ryan Whiteside's house. Whiteside had been connected with the high-profile murder case of an Arkansas beauty queen in 2005. The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear his case against The Courier newspaper, which ran a front-page story on the rape accusation, which was later dismissed.
The slaying of an Arkansas beauty queen still dominated talk around Russellville when an 18-year-old woman told police she had been raped at the home of one of the men who discovered the murder victim's body.

The woman said she didn't remember everything that happened at Ryan Whiteside's house, but was sure she awoke next to Kevin Jones, who later was acquitted in Nona Dirksmeyer's death.

Arkansas State Police troopers investigated and dismissed the woman's allegations — a fact not disclosed until after the local newspaper ran a Page One story detailing the accusations against two men already involved in the high-profile murder case.

More here.

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