The Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has developed a series of coverage guidelines to assist journalists, newsroom managers and station management with both common and uncommon ethical and operational situations which may arise. The guidelines have been prepared by journalists, managers and subject-area experts, and have been vetted by the RTDNA Ethics Committee.
While the RTDNA guidelines are a valuable resource, we would highlight one issue dealing with AMBER alerts in New York. The New York State police examine each situation in great detail before issuing an AMBER alert. It analyzes a number of critical factors including the threat to the child and possible location of the perpetrator. As a result, AMBER alerts may be issued for only a portion of the state, or a specific market. While it is ultimately up to the stations, it may not be advisable to “second guess” the New York State Police as to the issuance of an AMBER alert. The New York State Police are very careful not to issue unnecessary AMBER alerts. So if your station receives an AMBER alert, it is for a very good reason.
To see a copy of RTDNA’s guidelines click HERE.
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