RCMP media relations

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RCMP media relations

Postby rtirdnewsguy » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:43 pm

The RCMP should assemble a new handbook on how to deal with the media based on what happened this week in Manitoba.
RCMP Sgt Bert Paquet is the example to be followed. He answered hundreds of media questions in the 5-day search for 2 year old Chase Martens. Not only did he respond no matter how dumb the question - he did it with honesty and patience. His media briefing today after the little boy's body was found was outstanding. Not only did he tell us what had happened - he again answered all of the reporters questions clearly and when he didn't know the answer - that's what he said - I don't know . You could tell he was deeply affected by what had happened and without walls, he let his human side show. He did that all week. This officer must be commended for his approach in what certainly was a difficult situation. He handled it with class and sincerity . During my years in radio news , some of the biggest roadblocks in getting accurate information came from the RCMP. Too many of the officers who talked to reporters were arrogant , defensive and often not truthful. The attitude was - we know what's going on and you don't and no matter what - we're not going to tell you ! It was at times open hostility and dishonesty - which could have prevented with a more conciliatory approach. From what I have seen and heard since I retired = things haven't changed a lot. Sgt Paquet should be paid to go to every major RCMP detachment across the country to hold seminars on media relations - with hopes his suggestions would be followed. Good on you sir !
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:15 pm

Retirednewsguy (and others like him?) mistakingly believes that all police relations can be solved by the telephone.

Have you ever tried meeting with those "arrogant , defensive and often not truthful" policeman, in person.

If you do everything by telephone, text, or email, that approach may suit you, the busy newsperson, but it does not lead to relationship building.

Be very wary of journalists who hide behind their emails, texts, and phone calls, under the disguise that they are busy.

it's a "half assed" approach to broadcast journalism !
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby J Kendrick » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:24 pm

Clearly, the practice of nurturing one's news contacts with police and others in similar places of local authority... before the news happens... has become a lost art.

No wonder the level of news reporting we see now is nothing like it used to be... :neutral:
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby kal » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:23 am

BTW, Mr. Paquet got his start as media spokesperson in Surrey. We certainly saw him quite a bit here on Vancouver television.
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby tuned » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:29 am

Police media relations have to serve many masters, usually with conflicting agendas. Many times the spokespeople are kept in the dark on purpose. Other times they are being used as tools in an investigation. Most media people are bleeding heart liberals with authority issues so many of them bring a bias to the table. The same can be said in reverse for the other side. Much of what happens in policing can easily provoke a knee jerk reaction. An out of context ten second cel phone video that is not what it appears. Sometimes the police get slammed by the media because the media don't have all the facts. They don't have all the facts because the police are protecting an investigation or are complying with FOI laws. Police are human and therefore tend to treat the news media with a good deal of distrust. Once burned, twice shy. Considering all of those circumstances the public is pretty well served by both sides.
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby Jack Bennest » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:08 pm

I am still a news man

Not quite like the newsman I was almost 50 years ago.

I do have a good relationship with the police (RCMP) but like humans - some reporters are flawed as are some cops.

I wish the police were more up front. There are two types:

The RCMP media types publishing copious info often not that interesting,

Others in authority trying to camouflage their investigations who issue terse bulletins if forced to.

Many such bulletins are inaccurate.

You have to do your best. If you find a really good spokesman that is great. But they are still cops who report to another master.

Agree with JK - you have to develop friendships and relationships and once in a while call on that person for something special... Works for me.

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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:55 pm

J Kendrick wrote:Clearly, the practice of nurturing one's news contacts with police and others in similar places of local authority... before the news happens... has become a lost art.

No wonder the level of news reporting we see now is nothing like it used to be... :neutral:


Great point, John Kendrick. Thanks for that.

I am a BCIT trained news journalist, currently working in the field since the 1980's.

My instructors at BCIT were Jon Daly and George Garrett.

Daly was Garrett's protege.

George Garrett was a phenomenal relationship builder with police departments, bar NONE. No one did it better than him.

If you worked in the Vancouver newsmedia from 1960's to 1990's, you knew who George Garrett was.

Sadly, some of you younger news journalists have never heard of George Garrett.

The main problem with the newer generation of news journalists is this tendency to over rely on emails, texts and social media as a substitute for real, in person human relationships.

Real meetings with people, generally, are now almost avoided ? There is this dirty tendency to reduce everything to an email.

Unfortunately, much of the older than 40 crowd is forced to go along with this new way of communication.

However, you cannot socialize or make contacts with powerful newsmakers that you do not know, through email or social media, alone.

The journalists of the future must strike a careful balance between in person connections, and the new technology i.e. regular email.

I have worked extensively with young people over the years, including giving guest lectures at the high school level, and the prognosis is not good.

They are addicted to new technology.

Many teenagers spend so much time on "screens" that they have poor listening skills or are unable to articulate themselves during something as simple as a job interview or a face to face meeting.

Have you ever visited a local high school during lunch hour? It's an effing zoo ! The noise decibel levels in the school halls typically exceed 140 !

I am also gravely concerned about the social costs associated with too much usage of screens for communication. Not only will there be less substantive journalism and a dumbed down or ruined English language, but also, to an entire generation of young Canadians, experts warn, muscular-skeletal diseases like arthritis, lower back problems, degenerative bone disease and mobility issues as they reach age 35 and over !

Finally, there is the thorny issues of cell phones and how much electro-magnetic radiation do they actually irradiate to the human body. These phones are actually radio transmitters, so how much RF is needed for humans to contract cancer or other diseases, especially if your ear is stuck to a cell phone up to 6 hours a day, or your fingers are touching an electronic device, hundreds of times a day.

Has any university done a research study where they taped a cell phone to a rat or mouse, with duct tape, then you phoned the cell 60 times, 12 hours a day, for a whole year.

Will the rat get cancer or some other disease ? LOL
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:30 pm

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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby PMC » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:43 pm

the-real-deal wrote:http://www.globalresearch.ca/44-reasons-to-believe-cell-phones-can-cause-cancer/5420118


Fear mongering is not allowed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon ! Somewhere on the net is a video showing four people using their cell phones to pop corn... it is a fake, as is other infomation that sells fear for a dollar... and paranoia, goes for $1.49 at the appl store !
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:46 pm

PMC wrote:
Fear mongering is not allowed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon ! Somewhere on the net is a video showing four people using their cell phones to pop corn... it is a fake, as is other infomation that sells fear for a dollar... and paranoia, goes for $1.49 at the appl store !


Fear mongering ? You must work for Smellus, right ? LOL

Go through that list of 44 items and please show me where the fear mongering starts.

Those big cell phone manufacturers are peddling their wares, just like the tobacco companies peddled cancer free coffin sticks on consumers back in the 1950's and 60's.

They even got Ronald Reagan and John Wayne to peddle it, fraudulently.

Problem was, after 50 years of hard evidence and years of denials that smoking caused cancer, the courts finally sided final with consumers last year.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ ... -1.3095963

All it takes is enough time to build a class action suit, then watch out.
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby J Kendrick » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:52 pm

the-real-deal wrote:The main problem with the newer generation of news journalists is this tendency to over rely on emails, texts and social media as a substitute for real, in person human relationships.
Real meetings with people, generally, are now almost avoided ? There is this dirty tendency to reduce everything to an email.
Unfortunately, much of the older than 40 crowd is forced to go along with this new way of communication.
However, you cannot socialize or make contacts with powerful newsmakers that you do not know, through email or social media, alone.


Want to be a real news journalist? Turn off the computer screen, put away the iPhone, get up out of your chair... and wear down some shoe leather.

Get to know your news makers in person. Talk to them over coffee. Get to know each other ... so that you're not just an e-mail address or a voice at the other end of the phone...

Then, when the news finally does happen, you won't find yourself playing endless games of e-mail tag. Then you might actually be first with the story... because you've done all the ground work beforehand, nurturing your contacts the old fashioned way... not relying on technology to do your work for you...

Building your news contacts is about building relationships of credibility and trust. There is no digital short cut. Getting to know your contacts must be done in person... and maintained on a regular basis.
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:54 pm

Nice posting, John.

Believe it or not, I have once worked with you, very early in my career, and also, with a gal named (Pat Markley) ??? who worked the WIN desk at CKNW back then, circa 1986.

You had phoned our newsroom on a Sunday evening and gave us a rare tip (and some fatherly advice) about then Cariboo MLA Alex Fraser dying of throat cancer.

Anyhow, our radio station connected with Alex Fraser, but his wife picked up the phone, first.

Fraser also picked up the phone, and he was really pissed off, but we did get the story and we did break it to WIN that same evening.

Alex Fraser was then the Province's Highways Minister and they later named a bridge after him.

Do you remember that story ?

The next day, 'NW led with my story during their Monday morning major news (8 am) and it felt great !
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby J Kendrick » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:13 am

I can't remember the phone call you mention (it's a very long time ago now) ... but I certainly remember the circumstances all too clearly...

Alex Fraser had passed away suddenly from throat cancer, while still in office, in early 1989. I knew the late Highways Minister quite well at the time, as one does when working the news beat... but...
Mr. Fraser's death came shortly after CJOR News/Talk 600 had closed its doors -- putting 54 of us radio folks out on the street in a single blow -- and there's nothing more frustrating for a news guy than having a major political scoop... with no place left to report it...
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby the-real-deal » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:50 pm

Hello John:

Just to clarify, the story that I filed in 1986 re: Alex Fraser was regarding him GETTING cancer, not dying of cancer.

The fact that I had gotten to know Alex Fraser and his wife, in person, on a number of occasions, greatly contributed to me getting the story.

If I had just an email relationship with him, (there were no computers or internet back then?) there was no way the story would have happened.

Regarding the layoffs at CJOR in 1989, the talk show host at the time, the legendary Pat Burns, was never notified of the layoffs. He had to read about it on a poster taped to the front door, on his way to work ! What a horrible way to end one's career !

TRD
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Re: RCMP media relations

Postby J Kendrick » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:28 pm

the-real-deal wrote:Hello John:
Just to clarify, the story that I filed in 1986 re: Alex Fraser was regarding him GETTING cancer, not dying of cancer.


If the story that you filed was in 1986... then the phone call you described earlier most certainly did not come from yours truly. :-)

That's about as likely as George Garrett having called CJOR...

Regarding the layoffs at CJOR, the talk show host at the time, the legendary Pat Burns, was never notified of the layoffs. He had to read about it on a poster taped to the front door, on his way to work ! What a horrible way to end one's career !


Pat Burns was on holiday when the format change was announced ... and I am all too familiar with the details of those layoffs at CJOR. I was one of the victims... :-(
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