Emergency workers and reporters

November 17, 2009

Last Friday I went to talk to the students who are going to be emergency service officials – and talked to them about interaction with reporters on an emergency site. It was pretty interesting I dare say.

Prior to that I consulted with my former journalism students and working reporters on what we might want emergency workers to know and how we’d like them to interact with the press so it would be the most effective. Journos advised not to perceive them as vultures who are ready to tear apart already miserable survivors. They also dislike to have an image of someone who is just "chatting around" and "distract rescuers from their noble activities".

We talked about the professional tasks of both sides and how they differ and where they overlap.

I wonder what your advise would be – what would YOU like future emergency workers to know about reporters – so that the interaction would be mutually beneficial and effective (for the, after all, common goal, which is serving the public!)