Both The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News obtained new information last week surrounding the investigation of corruption in City Hall. They received hundreds of transcripts from the FBI’s probe by filing a motion in U.S. District Court for the release of related documents.
Judge Michael Baylson ruled in favor of the newspapers’ request, and the unedited files were promptly made public.
Inquirer and Daily News reporters deftly sifted through the information and packaged it for readers last Thursday, including articles on an alleged fundraiser at Lincoln Financial Field and internal dealings between Ronald A. White and the mayor. The conversations are blunt and extremely revealing.
Citizens can now dive into the information through Philly.com, which includes much more information than what was printed in both newspapers. Both staffs should be commended for their perseverance and should be thanked for making the information readily available while all other Philadelphia media organizations stood idly by.
Judge Baylson must also be praised for understanding the importance of the public’s right to know, especially considering an egregious ruling against reporters cited in the above editorial.
Though Baltimore Sun publisher Denise Palmer was commenting on the Sun’s legislative future, her words speak for the actions of the Inquirer and Daily News: “This is the right thing to do for the newsroom, it’s the right thing to do for our community, it’s the right thing to do for our readers.”