Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SPJ Hopes to Derail Ohio Bill Banning 911 Calls from TV Newscasts

Society of Professional JournalistsImage via Wikipedia
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), whose ranks include more than 8,000 journalists nationwide, has fired off a letter to Ohio State Senators Tom Patton and Bill Seitz, opposing a measure the solons introduced that would prohibit broadcasting 911 emergency calls on tv newscasts.

S.B. 105, if passed, also carries a $10,000 fine for infractions.  The sponsoring senators claim the bill would protect the identity of emergency callers.  In the December 17 letter, the SPJ condemned S.B. 105, writing that banning  audio 911 calls from the airwaves would make it "virtually impossible for citizens to hear how calls are being handled and effectively hold emergency response centers accountable."

It's one thing to impede the news media's coverage of breaking news events, but forcing local tv news stations to get rid of their cheesy graphic of a tape recorder superimposed on a map while the 911 audio airs is just mean.
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