Broken News

On April 27, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report the arrest of Bryan Clay, the suspect in the brutal double murder of 38-year-old Ignacia “Yadira” Martinez and her 10-year-old daughter, Karla. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police subsequently denied having a suspect in custody, but then held a press conference that evening confirming that Clay had indeed been charged with the April 15 murders.

Before Metro’s admission that the R-J’s reporting was accurate, KLAS Channel 8 chief investigative reporter George Knapp posted on Twitter that the story was erroneous. That set off a heated series of posts between KLAS and R-J staffers, many of which are documented here:

April 27

George Knapp: Reports from RJ that suspect is in custody for double homicide greatly exaggerated.

April 30

Henry Brean (R-J reporter): I’ve never seen a reporter waste so much energy trying to discredit a competitor’s work after it was revealed to be true.

Knapp: I’ll be wasting more energy at 6, in case you want to tune in.

Brean: Another report? How much time do you need to say, “I got beat, then I was wrong, and I still am”?

April 30

Ian Russell (KLAS producer): @lvmpd was pretty upset the family learned about the rape in the paper instead of from them. Especially of a 10 yr. old.

Mike Blasky (R-J reporter): So you work for Metro? What are you trying to say? You guys ran our report on the 11 pm news that night.

Russell: Well the Lt. seems to think you guys screwed them pretty good. That is what we are reporting.

Blasky: FWIW, I know for a fact that LVMPD knew well in advance about our report. Also know that family was notified before we ran it.

Blasky: Let’s not pretend this is anything other than a personal attack by Knapp who had his ego bruised a bit.

April 30

Lawrence Mower (R-J reporter): There can be an honest debate about journalistic ethics re: reporting victim information, but Ch8’s report was not that.

Russell: The report was about how police caught him. They say your stories hurt efforts. That’s how it came up.

Mower: Plus, you didn’t actually say how we hurt the investigation. I’m curious. Instead, you just carried their water.

Russell: They pretty clearly said they had to rush the arrest and move everything up ’cause you named Clay.

Mower: Rush the arrest? They already had the guy. Move what up? DNA? Why would they wait? We gave them fair notice and they said nothing.

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