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EXCLUSIVE first look at 'Marion County Record' front page post-raid
The Handbasket obtained the image early Wednesday morning before it went to print.
It’s been just five days since cops raided the office of the Marion County Record and seized most of their electronics and equipment that make it possible to put out a paper. Nonetheless, they’re about to publish their weekly print edition, and The Handbasket has an exclusive look at the front page.
I asked owner and publisher Eric Meyer on Monday if he planned on putting out a paper the following day. He replied Tuesday afternoon, saying: “Yes. There is no force on the planet that will prevent us from publishing. It may not be pretty, but we'll have something to publish by midnight tonight.”
He then agreed to share the front page scoop with me, showing a headline that reads: “SEIZED…but not silenced.”
Both cover stories are written by Record staff writer Deb Gruver—the same reporter who had been, according to Meyer, looking into police chief Gideon Cody and allegations of sexual misconduct before the multiple raids. The top story describes the latest in the investigation into the raids and how it’s been handed off to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
The second front page story, “Support for newspaper goes global,” details the incredible outpouring of support from people worried about the smalltown paper and the status of the First Amendment.
“The raid on your newspaper office and the related death is an absolute outrage,” a New Jersey resident reportedly wrote to the Record. “This is something you’d expect to find in a totalitarian state.”
According to Gruver, there’ve been 2,000 new signups for subscriptions for the Record and almost 270,000 views of their website since the raid. And the Society of Professional Journalists has pledged $20,000 to help the paper cover its legal fees. I’m still waiting for confirmation on when exactly the paper will be printed and distributed.
When I called the office’s landline late Tuesday, sports reporter Nicholas Kimball explained that they were able to put together the paper using his computer, which was not seized by police, as well as the ad sales computer. Together, the staff built this week’s edition back together page by page.
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