Posting of ProfNet query on internet alarms journalists

NEW YORK: A few journalists were alarmed last week when a newspaper writer posted on his blog the text of a ProfNet query from a Fox News reporter and then threatened to post more inquiries.

NEW YORK: A few journalists were alarmed last week when a newspaper writer posted on his blog the text of a ProfNet query from a Fox News reporter and then threatened to post more inquiries.

"This is your chance to read the news before it's news," wrote Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer Dave Copeland on www.davecopeland.com, which was linked to the Romenesko media-news website.

The posting concerned journalists, several of whom contacted PR Newswire (PRN), the owner of the ProfNet service, about the blog.

Ken Dowell, PRN MD of Targeting Services, said journalists are unable to access other reporters' queries. "The queries would have to be given to them by a member who sees them," he said.

ProfNet members are contractually obliged to maintain the confidentiality of the queries, Dowell said, adding that the company is trying to determine the source. PRN recommended concerned reporters use its cloaking option. Copeland did not return an e-mail request for comment.

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