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Press Club leaders welcome withdrawal of search warrant against Kansas newspaper, continue press for full investigation


WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement from Eileen O'Reilly, president of the National Press Club, and Gil Klein, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, on the reported withdrawal of the search warrant against the Marion County Record which had resulted in a Friday raid of the newspaper's offices and the seizure of reporting materials by local law enforcement authorities.

"The raid of the Marion County Record on Friday was a shocking and tragic violation of the freedom of of the press. Local law enforcement agencies in Marion County, Kansas reportedly searched the offices of the newspaper and the home of its publisher, and seized reporting materials including computers and cell phones, injuring a reporter's finger in the process. The newspaper's co-owner, Joan Meyer, 98, died the day after the raid on her home.

"We applaud the staff of the Marion County Record for the courage and resilience they have shown throughout this process, including the publication of their regular print edition as scheduled on Wednesday.

"While the withdrawal of the search warrant and the return of equipment to the Marion County Record is a welcome development, we remain deeply concerned that a Kansas judge issued a search warrant authorizing this search even though the federal law clearly requires authorities to use subpoenas rather than search warrants if they seek to access records of a news organization in the course of an investigation.

"We continue to demand a full and transparent investigation by appropriate state and federal authorities into why this search warrant was requested, authorized and executed. We expect all parties responsible for this raid to held accountable."

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. The NPCJI is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.

Contact: Bill McCarren, National Press Club, wmccarren@press.org, (202) 662-7534

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SOURCE National Press Club