Reporter fired for leaking cop bribe info

Kyodo

The Yomiuri Shimbun said Tuesday it has fired a reporter in its Fukuoka bureau for inadvertently releasing sensitive information he had gathered about a police officer who allegedly took bribes from underworld members.

Masahiro Goto, 33, sent emails July 20 containing his findings to several media agencies by mistake while trying to send them to colleagues, making it possible for the recipients to identify his news sources, according to the newspaper.

The Yomiuri said it will strictly discipline Goto’s superiors through pay cuts and demotions because they did not address the matter appropriately after learning about the reporter’s mistake.

Goto’s conduct, which could endanger the news sources, runs counter to journalistic ethics that confidential sources remain unidentified, the paper said.

The information Goto emailed pertains to a Fukuoka police officer who was arrested in July for allegedly taking bribes from gangsters. Apart from the email incident, the Fukuoka bureau failed to respond properly to a police claim after the paper carried an erroneous article in its July 22 issue on a police probe of Fukuoka yakuza.