Company claims in SEC filings that it has right to review articles
Shahien Nasiripour of Columbia Journalism Review reports Friday that Taser International has stated in SEC filings that two newspapers — the Arizona Republic and USA Today — have given it the right to review articles about the company before publication.
The newspapers deny any such an agreement exists.
Nasiripou writes, “In two SEC filings, Taser claimed that the newspapers ‘would review articles regarding the Taser device with us prior to publication’â€”an extraordinary breach of journalistic standards. Taserâ€™s general counsel initially stated the claim to Wall Street analysts in an earnings conference call, adding that it was ‘in order to ensure accuracy.’
“The newspapers, which were unaware of Taserâ€™s claim until their lawyer was contacted recently by CIR, deny ever making such an agreement, and have demanded that Taser formally correct the record. Initially, Taser was reluctant to amend its statements and the newspapers were considering further action, according to interviews with parties on both sides. Representatives of Taser and Gannett are currently in discussions to settle the dispute. The SEC declined to comment on the allegations.
“The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based stun-gun maker and its hometown paper have had a contentious history, resulting from the Republicâ€™s detailed reporting, from 2004-2006, about the company and the safety concerns of its flagship product, which is used by more than 13,000 law enforcement, correctional, and military agencies around the world.”
Read more here.