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Staying in the headlines

I’ve received a phone call once or twice from an interview subject asking to omit a background detail from a story.

Whether the detail remains or gets cut often depends on how it relates to the story as a whole. But, in general, a story about someone involved in criminal proceedings includes some reference to his or her criminal record, even if it is only to say there is no record.

Which brings us to a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday, where Joanna Snyder appeared for a scheduling hearing in a drug case. Snyder asked the judge to order a Salem News reporter to stop writing about her.

It seems the stories would include “details about Snyder’s long criminal history,” details “that upset her and her 19-year-old daughter, who recently had a baby.”

The judge told Snyder people upset with a newspaper story usually write a letter to the editor.

“I have no authority to control the press,” the judge said.

News of the court hearing was reported in the Salem News by Julie Manganis — the same Julie Manganis who wrote the other stories about Snyder. And somehow I don’t think Wednesday’s story on Snyder will be Manganis’ last.

(HT: Romenesko)