published : 2023-08-21

Kansas Reporter Stands Accused in Preceding Controversial Newspaper Raid Incident

Alleged Misrepresentation by Marion County Record Reporter Sparks Police Investigation

Image of Gideon Cody standing outside the Marion County Record office, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Marion Police Department chief, Gideon Cody, recently spearheaded a raid at a local newspaper, the Marion County Record, accusing one of their reporters of misrepresentation and deceit.

According to court records, this reporter was alleged to have disguised her intentions or personhood whilst gathering sensitive information.

The targeted individual, local restaurant owner Kari Newell, previously asserted that the newspaper had breached her privacy and acted unlawfully in its collection of data about her, an accusation which the newspaper has fervently refuted.

Reporter Phyllis Zorn, who had utilized a public website to collect information on Newell, was accused of identity theft when she used Newell's name in her search. Corroboratively, a source informed the newspaper of Newell's date of birth and license number.

A photo of the Marion County Record newsroom, showing a staff of four people working late into the night, taken with a Nikon D850.

Bearing witness to the tumultuous raid, surveillance footage recorded the confiscation of computers and cellphones from the publisher and staff of the Marion County Record.

Chief Cody insists that procuring the document would necessitate impersonation, or deceit regarding the motives behind the record's retrieval.

This predicament has incited widespread indignation and prompted fierce discussion on press freedoms. Hindered from fulfilling their daily responsibilities, the newspaper's staff were compelled to labor overnight to produce the next day's publication.

After a grueling overnight operation, the staff, consisting of only four individuals, skillfully reconstructed stories and ads, giving birth to their memorable headline: 'SEIZED … but not silenced.'

Close up shot of returned items on a table at the Marion County Record office, including cellphones and computers, taken with a Sony Alpha 7R IV.

In an unforeseen twist, the items seized were returned to the Marion County Record after Joel Ensey, the Marion County Attorney, determined insufficient evidence to justify the raid.

Eric Meyer, the Editor and Publisher of the Marion County Record, asserted to The Associated Press that no laws were transgressed.

Reflecting on the experience, Meyer boldly declared, 'You cannot let bullies win. We have a staff that's very experienced, including myself, and we're not going to take crap.'