A day after the Chronicle mentioned, in the eighth paragraph of a business section story, that all records in the Clint Reilly’s antitrust lawsuit against MediaNews and Hearst would be kept secret unless they’re alread public, George Avalos of the Contra Costa Times has come along with a full blown story on the secrecy order. Avalos story makes the following points:
- • An attorney for Reilly, Dan Shulman, said Reilly had little choice but to agree to the confidentiality in order for a trial in the case to proceed swiftly and begin Feb. 26.
• Shulman said it was ironic that the publishing companies were anxious to keep much of the information in the case confidential. “Newspapers believe the public should know about everything, unless it is information about newspapers,” Shulman said.
• Nobody from Hearst or MediaNews wanted to be quoted by name for the story (even though the story was being written by a MediaNews employee). So the newspaper companies’ point of view was represented by a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The story did not indicate whether the source worked for Hearst or MediaNews.
• That anonymous spokesman said that allowing the public to see court records might reveal “trade secrets, or proprietary financial or strategic information.”