Bushfire emergencies are stressful times for everyone involved, but why are journalists being criticised for trying to do their jobs?
Bushfire emergencies are stressful times for everyone involved, but why are journalists being criticised for trying to do their jobs? Renee Pilcher

Why Police Media's complaints are a cop-out

THE Queensland Police Service says unconfirmed media and social media reports during bushfire emergencies "wastes our time”.

What exactly are QPS media officers supposed to be doing if they're not working with other media sites to help separate fact from fiction?

Today's media landscape means literally anyone can "report” something, usually to social media, while news events are unfolding.

SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - A recent QPS media statement claims its time is being wasted... by responding to media requests.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - A recent QPS media statement claims its time is being wasted... by responding to media requests. Queensland Police Service

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Sites like Facebook are rife with rumours and unverified information.

That does "cause unnecessary panic”, but often it's no thanks to those who have the truth.

Many times already I have witnessed journalists make fruitless attempts to receive any kind of timely response from QPS during major news events, while social media runs rampant with speculation and misinformation.

Media companies trying to get verified information are often left with nothing - at least until the rumours have grown legs and extra heads.

Journalists should not be publicly shamed by the authorities for trying to do their job.

We live in an era of decreasing transparency and an inclination by authorities to withhold information and not co-operate with the media. It is an inclination that needs to be addressed.

Do we get it wrong sometimes? Yes. But that's called being human.

If QPS Media's resources are being "drained” because it's too hard for them to do their jobs, perhaps they should adapt to the way the world is now and get more resources.

Gympie Times


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