m@ on Thu, 11 Feb 1999 01:43:28 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> a transparent society

	...except for the police, or course.

SALEM, Oregon (AP) -- A police organization has asked state lawmakers to
ban live TV news coverage of how police handle such problems as hostage
takings and barricaded suspects.

Live coverage of those events puts officers at risk because a suspect, for
example, could watch the broadcast and figure out what police are doing and
where the officers are located, supporters of the ban said Tuesday.

"If the media is broadcasting my position, a wall or a tree or a car
doesn't do me any good. Bullets go right through them," said Liz Cruthers,
president of the Oregon Council of Police Associations.

Under a proposal by the group, it would be up to the police commander at
the scene to determine whether a tactical situation has developed. In that
case, TV stations would be informed that no live broadcast is allowed.

The police officers' proposal also would prohibit news media helicopters
from flying within 1,000 feet of such operations and subject stations that
violate the law to a $10,000 civil penalty.

The Oregon Association of Broadcasters said the proposal encroaches on
freedom of the press and is unnecessary because Portland TV stations
already have agreed to restrict the use of helicopters in such situations.

"We're not out there to hurt anybody. We're there to get the story," said
Bill Johnstone, executive director of the broadcasters group.
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