Dear friends of inewsource,
As you may know, we were sued several months ago in what we believe was retaliation for deeply reported stories questioning the business practices of well-known San Diego lawyer Cory Briggs. Tomorrow at 9 a.m., in Superior Court Department 67, we will ask Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon to throw out the lawsuit.
This action clearly is intended to cost inewsource, literally and figuratively, and to attempt to dissuade us from continuing to report on attorney Briggs and on other topics that could prove controversial but are in the public interest. inewsource exists to hold powerful people accountable. The work is not without its perils.
Today, we have moral support from other journalists who issued this statement:
The Society of Professional Journalists’ San Diego chapter strongly condemns any attempt to retaliate against a news organization for critical coverage by filing unrelated lawsuits. The timing of one lawsuit suggests that is exactly what happened in San Diego.
On Feb. 23, San Diego’s inewsource published the first in a series of articles that were critical of prominent local attorney Cory Briggs. On April 9, San Diegans for Open Government, a group that Briggs has often represented, sued inewsource and its executive director over its relationship with KPBS, particularly for its office lease at San Diego State University. The lawsuit is the subject of a court hearing Friday.
There is a right way and a wrong way to raise complaints about news coverage, and this is the wrong way. News organizations — many facing severe financial challenges — should not have to defend coverage by spending significant resources on legal challenges that are unrelated to their critical reporting.
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We'll let you know when big things happen.