The press and emergency services in B.C.

I am consistantly impressed with the way that the press interacts with emergency services in British Columbia, and the same can be true about the rest of Canada.  Sitting here and watching the news coverage of the recent shootings in Montreal, the amount of information coming from the police, in near real time, is really interesting compared to the news coverage I am used to in the U.S.

First off, I should say that my heart goes out to those people affected by this.  Regardless of who or why, things like these are shocking and scary.  While the CBC was covering this, I had sirens going off all around the west end.  Kinda spooky.

The media seems to be included on these events as they unfold, at least for the most part.  I so often see the morning news where there was a fire the night before.  While there are still firemen putting out the flames in the background, someone is talking to the camera, giving an update as to what happened, possible causes, and preliminary info about people affected.

What I’m used to back in the states is official statements that get released to the press or press conferences that happen hours, if not days, after the fact.  That gets printed up in the papers or some person with overly perfect hair tells you the facts on TV.  In between that time, everything is uncomfirmed and speculation.  You get some of that here, but the involvement of people on the scene is much higher.  It’s not some guy, outside of the whole situation, who has the job to collect the information and report it to the press.

It impresses me.  Maybe there is more confidence in the whole spectrum of distributing information, meaning the people on the scene, the media, and the person taking in the news, in Canada.  There is a lot more scrutiny in American media, always making sure that the right people are saying the right things at the right time.

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