Emergency Media and Public Affairs
Emergency Media and Public Affairs

Emergency Media and Public Affairs

Media Access to Emergencies – Command, Control or Co-Ordination?

Michael Eburn

The University of New England

Abstract

This paper considers whether or not the emergency services have the legal power to restrict media access to a disaster area or to restrict how the media report the event. It is argued that as the media have a legitimate interest in reporting on disaster events, the emergency services need to facilitate their access to the disaster rather than attempt to control how the media go about their task. It is argued that the media and emergency services organisations must coordinate their response for the benefit of the emergency service organisation, the media and the public generally. The emergency services do not have the legal power to take any other approach.

meburn@une.edu.au

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