Paul Quinn’s Weblog

News from Ole Miss and Oxford

The Daily Mississippian stands up

Posted by paulquinn on May 6, 2008

Here is the story

This story was printed in The Daily Mississippian (DM) last week.

The day our story ran a lieutenant sent me a text message asking if he could interview reporter Victoria Howell or get her notes. He said they would be issuing a grand jury subpoena if she did not cooperate. I referred him to the Student Media Center’s director Traci Mitchell.

On Monday Ms. Mitchell contacted the Mississippi Press Association legal helpline.

The association’s law firm Butler Snow advised Ms. Mitchell law enforcement can subpoena journalist for their notes if it contains relevant-material information that can not be obtained otherwise. And added that journalist should not hand over notes without a subpoena. In this case OPD can contact the two driver’s or the paramedics who responded to the scene, meaning the information can be obtained without Ms. Howell’s notes.

Ms. Mitchell was planning to let the lieutenant know of our lawyers advise, and hoped that would be the end of this mess. So far no word on how OPD reacted.

The lieutenant said Logan O’ Conner had incriminated himself in statements made to The DM. I speculate they want to charge him with DUI on top of Public Drunk. He admitted to driving the car that hit Ole Miss basketball player Brandi Tipton, however my understating is O’ Conner said he had one beer.

Here is the statement OPD is looking at:

“It was really late, and I was coming from a birthday party to go home,” O’Connor said. “I was traveling on University Avenue, where there is construction going on. The two inside lanes were closed off with construction barrels, but the workers left an opening so that people on my street can turn in.”

O’Connor said he looked both ways before turning onto the street.

“I did not see anyone. I turned, and we collided,” he said.

Journalist sometimes spend months in jail trying to protect their sources, and for a good reason. If newspapers could not protect its sources then folks would fear what employers, family and friends might do if potentially damning information is revealed.


3 Responses to “The Daily Mississippian stands up”

  1. paulquinn said

    Please let me know what y’all think of my first post. As well as what you think about Ms. Howell’s situation.

  2. somslawyer said

    I have enjoyed your folo comments, as well as your work on DM. I look forward to reading your work for a long time.

  3. […] The DM and OPD come to understanding Yesterday I posted about  Oxford Police asking for a statement or a copy of DM reporter Victoria Howell’s notes regarding a story she […]

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