What does the local media outlets do when a system goes ENCY

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qbertopp

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Most of their top stories are obtained from listening to scanner traffic and being on the scene when a big story hits. So what does the local media outlets do when a system goes ENCY and they cannot monitor it.
 
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In some areas the local public safety agency will provide radios that are encryption enabled for specific talk groups to media outlets.
 

K4IHS

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I program the scanners here in Fort Myers, FL for the WINK-TV newsroom. These folks take listening to scanners very seriously for news tips.
 

DickH

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In some areas the local public safety agency will provide radios that are encryption enabled for specific talk groups to media outlets.
Exactly, although I doubt the agency will just give them a radio. Usually, the news outlet will have to pay for the radio and maybe even the cost of programming it.
 

newsphotog

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It depends when you say "Most of their top stories are obtained from listening to scanner traffic." If it's breaking news, yes, if it's anything else, no. Although this also varies by region. If it's a densely-populated region in a competitive market and you have lots of stringers, then yes a lot of the breaking news definitely comes from scanners. Some people will also call into the newspaper or TV station to tip the news desk off about a fire in their neighborhood or something else going on. Back in the day, TV stations had a dedicated, easy-to-remember phone number for people to call about those things and it was advertised pretty aggressively. If agencies went encrypted and didn't provide the media with other means to gather breaking news, this method might make a comeback someday.

Here in Des Moines, the newspaper has an office in the police station. Not only does this allow a great working relationship, but quick notice of events even without the scanner (the scanner and antenna there are junk). While Des Moines is not encrypted, perhaps this is also the case for other media outlets.

They used to give out pagers to assignment editors as well that sent out announcements and other urgent notices like large scale incidents, pursuits, confirmed fires, haz-mat activation, etc. They are the same notices that get sent to the chiefs. I'm not sure if they still do this.

In other areas, yes, the agencies would also provide no-TX radios for media use. They aren't provided for free; the media has to rent them from the agency.

Also, some agencies like LAPD have online websites where you can read about ongoing incidents that are entered into the CAD. A lot of stringers out there also utilize that. I lost the URL though, sorry. I can't remember if it was just traffic-related incidents on that page or other things as well, but I think it was traffic-only.

If all else fails and you're SOL, sorry, you'd have to rely on press releases and word of mouth.
 

N8IAA

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In my area--Metro Atlanta, the media reliies on the P.I.O.'s (public info officers) for encrypted counties. Otherwise, they have tons of scanners for monitoring the breaking news.
Larry
 

Gator596

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The experience here was that the pd created a "media liason officer" position. That person now puts out .pdf news releases and/or makes themself available to do a talking head session. The .pdfs are available on the web. I think they also email them to whoever wants to be on the list.
 

FoeHammer

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The media have complained about this issue here , they find they are not getting a full list of events dispatched , it is filtered , & often so late that it is no longer newsworthy ,..so here the answer would be
The media tells the people whatever the police tell them to ....
 

FlashSWT

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Here are some examples from Texas:

Public has almost no access to new police radios » Abilene Reporter News

Reporter News said:
New radios purchased by the Reporter-News, KTXS-TV, KRBC-TV and KTAB-TV that can pick up transmissions from the new system were programmed by the city's communication services department. Abilene media can listen to a police and fire dispatch channel and eight tactical fire channels.
Reporter News said:
When the Wichita Falls Police Department in 2005 upgraded from traditional police radios that many people could hear with a police scanner to the same digital radio system Abilene is using, it left the media and the public in the dark and denied them access to all police communication.

Two months later, the police department and the media in Wichita Falls came to an agreement that allowed the media to listen to fire and general police traffic, according to the Times Record News.
 

w2txb

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I program the scanners here in Fort Myers, FL for the WINK-TV newsroom. These folks take listening to scanners very seriously for news tips.
Some of the Gannett newspapers have included in their stories, "According to (police) scanner reports, ..."
 

newsphotog

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Some of the Gannett newspapers have included in their stories, "According to (police) scanner reports, ..."
And that drives me absolutely crazy. Scanners are not meant to be a method of reporting. They are just to tip you off to possible incidents. The Register reports things based on what they hear being dispatched out. Newspapers are going to learn the hard way when they get bitten in the ass by their laziness. How many times will officers get dispatched to an incident and it turns out to be nothing, or the incident turns out to be waaaaayyyy different from what dispatch was told over the phone.

The other night, dispatch sent out a few units to a park for a report of people fighting each other with axes. The police got there and there wasn't anything. Often a bunch of units get sent to a location based on a report to dispatch that there's a riot going on involving 50-60 people in a rough part of town, and it turns out to just be a disturbance involving about half a dozen people. Or, a "big fire" that turns out to be nothing.

It's just so often that things end up being different than what was dispatched out. Even if a reporter posts on twitter "riot at 56th and Elm" and not a full news story, it should be fully investigated by a reporter before distributing this news to thousands of people. It makes them look like idiots when they report on a riot but then later reduce it to a story about a minor disturbance. Fact checking is going by the wayside. And then there's the dispute over whether the FCC prohibits divulgence to third parties of what's heard over the scanners...
 

twhitson

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The only experience I've had with this was when Char/Meck went trunked a few years back. They gave each major outlet a handheld receive only with the major dispatch channels burned in to follow those; no tactical or talk around channels, only dispatch.
 

w2txb

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I program the scanners here in Fort Myers, FL for the WINK-TV newsroom. These folks take listening to scanners very seriously for news tips.
The Gannett news group relies on scanners so much that many of their stories include, "according to police scanner reports,..." :roll:
 

newsphotog

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The Gannett news group relies on scanners so much that many of their stories include, "according to police scanner reports,..." :roll:
And then they get all bashful when they have to correct themselves later and say that it wasn't a shooting as they heard on the scanner -- a car just backfired or it was some kid with firecrackers.

There is a reporter in the area with a Twitter feed and when he's on the clock he basically just posts what comes across the scanner. Many, many times he's reported totally preliminary information that came across the scanner and turned out to be way way wrong. And he has a way to really hype it up and make it sound bigger than what it really is. What he reports as being a "riot" turns out to just be an everyday run-of-the-mill fight when the police release official information or when witnesses speak out.

If that won't make agencies ponder going encrypted, I don't know what will.
 
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