Working with the Media
Evaluating the Risks and Rewards
- 2 hr2 hours
- Customer Site or Other Venue
A good working relationship with the media is usually beneficial to law enforcement agencies but choosing to work with the media as a survivor or victim of a crime, requires an analysis of the risks and rewards and should not be taken lightly. Join Terry Turchie, former Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI and I as we discuss the importance of the media’s involvement in the Unabomber case and our thoughts on the critical need to set up safe, appropriate, communication channels that provide accurate information and minimize risk to survivors and victims. After nearly 18 years of investigation, the many pieces of the UNABOM puzzle came together when the UNABOM Manifesto was published and law enforcement received overwhelming public response. Survivors and victims of acts of terror, properly engaged with the media and public, can substantially aid in the investigation by placing a human face on the tragedies engineered by terrorists and other violent criminals. Government agencies like the FBI need the help of America's citizens to fight terror. In New York City, the message to the population from law enforcement to citizens is "if you see something, say something." Whether the reason is ‘tactical’ involving a wide appeal to the public to assist in locating a wanted terrorist or ‘strategic’ where constant dialogue educates and informs the public, using the media is a vital part of preventing terrorist acts, and identifying and capturing potential suspects. Social media has changed reporting methods, quality of content, and operations of news outlets dramatically over the past decade. The pressure of being ‘first to report’, 140-character tweets, online news feeds, and the ability to instantly post an opinion or comment, have substantially increased the risk of publishing inaccurate or incomplete information and for causing further injury to survivors or victims. Finding ways to mitigate these risks and increasing the accuracy of reporting are imperative in today’s data enabled world.
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