The U.S Constitution ensures a free press, a cornerstone of a functioning and healthy democracy and the Society of Professional Journalists is dedicated to protecting those rights.
To that end, the Society of Professional Journalists Virginia Pro Chapter is carefully watching developments in the murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German.
Las Vegas police arrested Clark County Administrator Robert Telles on suspicion of comitting the murder last week. In addition to physical evidence linking Telles to the crime scene, German published a series of stories about dysfunction in Telles’ public office. Telles lost the Democratic primary in June following publication of the stories.
German was a journalist for 40 years who wrote often about corruption among public officials, according to the newspaper.
He upheld many of SPJ’s ethical guidelines, including being vigilant and courageous in holding people in power accountable and being a watchdog for his community.
Reporters like German protect our democracy at all levels. In local governments, where news coverage around the country continues to disappear, work like his is especially important in shining light on institutions that should operate free of corruption and with the highest integrity.
SPJ VA is watching the outcome of this case with hopes the judicial system will uphold America’s strong tradition of allowing and protecting a free and independent press that operates without fear of retribution from its government.