(HorizonPost.com) – The Las Vegas Review-Journal is facing online attacks and one of its reporters is being threatened after blowback over its coverage of the murder of a retired police chief, the Associated Press reported.
On August 18, reporter Sabrina Schnur interviewed the family of retired California police chief Andreas Probst, who was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike in Las Vegas.
The interview was published under a headline that described Probst’s death as “killed in a bike crash.”
Subsequently, a video purportedly filmed by a passenger in the car confirmed that Probst’s death was no accident. On August 29, the 17-year-old driver’s charges were upgraded to murder, and last week, judges ruled that the driver and teenage passenger will be tried as adults.
The video began circulating online, prompting blowback against the paper. One user created a post showing Schnur’s August 18 headline and accusing the Review-Journal of covering up the murder of a retired police official.
The paper’s executive editor Glenn Cook told the Associated Press that while he can’t comment on the social media user’s motives, the internet mob the post spawned “took no effort to fact-check” the user’s claim.
The paper began sifting through emails sent to Sabrina Schnur to shield her from the worst of the attacks which grew exponentially on September 17 after X owner Elon Musk posted about Probst’s murder and decried the lack of “media outrage.”
According to Glenn Cook, many of the attacks were threatening, anti-semitic, and lewd. One threat was referred to law enforcement.
In an attempt to stop the barrage of attacks, editors at the paper changed the headline for Schnur’s article in the internet archive, changing “bike crash” to “hit-and-run.” But according to Cook, the change only “fed the trolls even more.” According to the Poynter journalism website, Schnur has temporarily moved out of her apartment while the Review-Journal has taken steps to protect her safety.
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