Domestic Embedded Reporter Program: Saving Lives And Securing Tactical Operations

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.

By Michelle Trost

Advances in technology have provided journalists the tools to obtain and share real-time information during domestic-terrorist and mass-shooting incidents. This realtime information-sharing compromises the safety of first responders, victims, and reporters. Real-time sharing of tactical operations, including the positioning of law enforcement, firefighters, and their equipment, impacts the security and effectiveness of emergency responders in mitigating the public threat. The Department of Defense (DOD) fought a similar battle with members of the media more than a decade ago with the creation of its embedded reporter program. This thesis explores the following question: Can first response agencies and journalists in the United States adopt an embedded journalist program for domestic terrorist or mass-shooting events? The research reviewed the DOD’s embedded reporter program and explored potential modifications for use within the United States. The thesis finds that although it is possible to create a collaborative embedded reporter program for use within the United States, it may be more feasible to adopt portions of the program such as placing an embargo on all tactical operations, creating a formal media training program, and implementing media credentials.

 

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