DeadBeatLink.com Publishes the Personal Information of Local Journalists

deadbeatlink.jpg
A local website has popped up with the stated mission of publicly shaming journalists in Broward and Palm Beach. The site says it will also be a place for people to air grievances about bad landlords and ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, but so far, it's just journalists.

Last week, DeadBeatLink.com published a stack of information on the home addresses and phone numbers of reporters from the Palm Beach Post. Yesterday, the same site put up the info for the staff at WPEC CBS 12. Obviously, this kind of public exposure could be troubling for people in the news business -- which seems to be what DeadBeatLink is aiming at.

The website claims its goal is to "make people more honest and ethical by shaming them into better behavior." In a kind of manifesto accompanying the Deadbeat News Reporter section, the person (or persons) working the strings behind the site says, "Journalists have chosen to ignore select political figures in Palm Beach and Broward County, turning their heads while their agencies run rampant with corruption, ranging in crimes of moral turpitude, stealing from tax payers to even committing murder."

The text goes on: "We are letting the people know this is not acceptable and they need to hold themselves, and our elected public representatives, to a higher standard." The site claims they omitted reporters they feel "meet this standard."

They promise to publish the information from a different news outlet every week. As we said, they've already hit the Post and CBS 12. According to the manifesto, Channel 5 is on deck.

When New Times called up the Palm Beach Post yesterday, we briefly spoke with Randy Schultz, editor of the editorial page. He hadn't heard about the DeadBeatLink and understandably didn't sound too thrilled about its existence. No one from the Post or the paper's parent company, Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, called us back with an official comment.

A woman who answered the phone in the CBS 12 newsroom also didn't know about DeadBeatLink. She declined to comment on the situation, and Cindy Younkin, the station's news director, didn't respond to a request for comment.

So who's behind DeadBeatLink? We sent a message to the site's administrators through the page's "contact us" tab but didn't hear back by the end of day Monday. According to a domain search, the site is registered through a third-party company based in Coral Springs; when we called over, tech support said they couldn't supply information on the website without a subpoena.

Websites focusing on journalists are usually navel-gazing exercises, but not this time. You can look at the airing of journalists' personal info as troubling, especially when you consider reporters are routinely targeted across the world because of their work. Then again, DeadBeatLink seems to want to light a fire under the local Fourth Estate. It also could have the opposite effect: scaring outlets away from doing anything controversial at all. Stay tuned to see how it plays out.






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10 comments
miamimediaman
miamimediaman

The Deadbeat Link site is the work of Mark Dougan, a former deputy in the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Ofice. (Also known as John Mark Dougan.) Since he believes it's OK to post the home addresses and phone numbers of reporters, it should also be OK to post his: He lives at 120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 705, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33401, and his phone number is 561-354-6336.

readEye
readEye

Sounds like a payback for Journalists publishing Gun owners names and addresses.

-What could possibly go wrong with both of these ideas?

if its acceptable for the 1st whats wrong with the 2nd.... 



katieperez255
katieperez255

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smdrpepper
smdrpepper

I do not think it is much of a leap to figure out this is another tea bagger created idiocy.  It screams of something they would ineptly attempt.

Maynard56
Maynard56

BTW - I looked at the statistics - 5 journalists killed in the USA since 1992? That's one every 4 years. That has to be the safest job in the world!

Maynard56
Maynard56

You wrote: "It also could have the opposite effect: scaring outlets away from doing anything controversial at all." The people to write any thing controversial about, the Government, already has all of their information so I think this is irrelevant.


miamimediaman
miamimediaman

What's wrong is that the Palm Beach Post and WPEC didn't publish the names and addresses of gun owners. A newspaper in New York did. How can you connect the two?

In fact, many journalists thought it was wrong that the New York newspaper published the names and addresses of gun owners. How many? Who knows? But notice that no other newspapers or TV stations did.

readEye
readEye

@smdrpepper 

 When the media published names of gun owners, was that a mistake?

what is good for the goose....


Maynard56
Maynard56

@smdrpepper Quite the contrary. It's someone longing for the journalists to do their job. If you read the section on the web site, it stems from, among other things, multiple cases of police brutality against minorities. Seems like a liberal stance to me. Unless you aren't in to sticking up for the rights of minorities. In that case, give the credit to whoever you want.

miamimediaman
miamimediaman

There is no such thing as "the media." One media outlet did that, and it was stupid. You want to blame others simply because they are in the same profession?

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