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Hostage Taking and Live Television Coverage - Essay Example

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In the paper “Hostage Taking and Live Television Coverage” the author observed that numerous incidents of hostage taking covered by live television broadcasts have resulted to loss of lives and conflict of interest between the law enforcing agencies and the public…
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Hostage Taking and Live Television Coverage
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Download file to see previous pages Actions for a scene Commander According to Thompson (2006), the scene commander is charged with the overall operations devised to rescue victims who have been held hostage by criminals. One of the key roles of the scene commander is to secure the perimeter of the hostage scene as well as minimize any potential deaths or injuries. Though constitutionally the media enjoys the right to cover any public event including hostage taking incidents, the scene commander can either issue access to the crime scene or prohibit the media from accessing the crime scene depending on the nature of the crime taking place (Hammer, 2007). According to the Centre of Excellence Defense against Terrorism (2007), the scene commander should define or regulate the distance that the media team is allowed within the vicinity of the crime or hotspot. Additionally, the scene commander should regulate the press statements being broadcast by the media houses and the actual filming of the event on live broadcast this is to ensure that media coverage do not jeopardize the efforts of the law enforcement officers. Lastly, the scene commander is also required to control the interaction between the media and the criminals at the scene. According to Fourie (2001), the main objective for the scene commander is to devise possible measures to facilitate the safe rescuing of the victims using the efforts of the rescue teams as well as the tactical team. However, Noesner (2010) suggests that there is a need for the senior commander to monitor the media personnel to avoid commotions such as extreme approach to the area of crime that may agitate or raise suspicion among the robbers, which could result to endangering the lives of the hostages. Furthermore, all media statements should pass through the scene commander for moderation and filtering of any information that may leak relevant intelligence to the robbers concerning the ongoing rescue operation. Live media coverage of hostage taking incident Hammer (2007) observed that live television coverage of a hostage scene is essential in planning rescue mission but also presents an equal amount of risks to the law enforcers. The media constitutionally enjoys press freedom, which dictates that it is free from any force of manipulation in order to broadcast autonomously and therefore, this privilege prohibits even the law enforcement agency from forcefully terminating the live television coverage. In addition, shutting off the live television coverage may raise suspicion among the robbers and jeopardise any form of rapport that may have been already developed by the negotiation team. In his book, McKenna (2000) alternatively stated that there exist other means of regulating the entire live media coverage. McKenna (2000) pointed out that the scene commander might seek consensus with the media houses to delay the live coverage of the scene from five to ten minutes rather than asking them to stop broadcasting; this will offer the scene commander an opportunity to edit or regulate the content that will be aired on live television. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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