The entirety of Marion’s five-member police force and two sheriff deputies invaded the Marion County Record’s office last Friday, confiscating computers, cellphones, and other journalistic materials. The unanticipated blitz, in Kansas, spearheaded at Eric Meyer’s home as well as the newspaper’s premises simultaneously, has chillingly been called a clear assault on the free press, lending a profound sense of foreboding to the future of investigative journalism.
Initial intel points to the raid’s motivation as a confidential informant incriminated by a leak of “sensitive” documents to the newspaper. The newspaper’s publisher and owner, Eric Meyer, interprets this police action as a crystal clear threat – abide by our rules, or face the muzzling consequences.
The ransacking of the newsroom is troubling to media advocates and leaves the newspaper on shaky operational grounding with an imminent weekly publication deadline.