IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Several staff members of The Journal News have reported being threatened at their homes and at work in the weeks following the newspaper's publication of an online map of pistol permit holders.
The newspaper on Dec. 23 published the names of 33,614 holders of pistol permits issued by Westchester and Rockland counties and put a map showing their home addresses online. The report, which drew the ire of some gun rights supporters and bloggers, led to a backlash against the newspaper, and online social media have exploded with postings of personal information about editors and reporters at the paper.
Irvington police were called Dec. 26 by a resident and Journal News employee who said he had received harassing telephone calls at 3 a.m.
Reporters who live in Ossining and other Rivertowns communities have also been threatened at work and at home.
A Journal News reporter told The Daily Voice that he had received letters at home and calls and emails at the office. The notes were "mostly veiled stuff, like, 'We know your address,' " and were mostly from out of state, the reporter said. He said one of his colleagues was told that "her family would be taken out in body bags."
The newspaper has hired armed guards for its offices in White Plains and West Nyack, and its president and publisher, Janet Hasson, reported threatening calls and emails to her office, The New York Times reported Monday.
Hasson told The New York Times that she has paid for staff to stay at hotels, arranged for guards to walk employees to their cars and told employees to change home telephone numbers. Many employees of The Journal News live in Westchester, and several staff members live in the Rivertowns communities.
The Journal News reported incidents to White Plains police including notes to reporters threatening gun violence, while bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees. Two packages containing white powder were received at the White Plains newsroom and a third was sent to a reporter’s home. Each was tested and proved to be harmless.