How do news station get their crime news?
- 1 Aug 2023
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Decoding The Crime Beat
Picture this: It's a sultry afternoon in Perth, and I, Cassius, am sat in my usual spot with a cup of tea in hand, my Siamese cat, Bella, curled at my feet, and my parrot Kipp squawking in the background. With kids Lenore and Grover at school, I can get busy writing this blog post about how news stations gather their crime news. Ever wondered how your evening news or favourite crime programme manages to deliver riveting news, live updates and, in some cases, show you crime scenes as they unfold? Well, that's what we're delving into today! Buckle up, because it's going to be a fascinating ride.
The Team Behind The News
In the dynamic world of news, crime news often emerges as a segment that keeps viewers hooked. But to collate information that is timely, authentic, and precise is not a one-man show; it takes a driven, coordinated team. This team comprises reporters, crime journalists, editors, videographers, and many more! Moreover, the crime beat is often a herald of upcoming journalistic talent. So, the young turks are often on this beat, risking their safety to bring you the most eyeball-catching crime news. It's not much different from that time Grover chased after Bella in the garden, jumped the fence and I had to run after him to make sure he was safe. Phew! That was exhausting, but we do what we have to do. I am quite sure it's the same for these journalists.
Police and Law Enforcement: The Vital Link
The police and other law enforcement agencies are instrumental in the functioning of the crime news departments in various news networks. They're the first to arrive on a crime scene, initiate investigations and ensure the wheels of justice start turning. The news reporters and journalists mostly rely on these bodies to provide them with substantial information about the crimes. They develop these connections, rather like friendships, that enable them to get their facts straight and on time. Speaking of friendships, Bella and Kipp may fight over food, but when Bella inadvertently locks herself in the storage room (don’t even ask me how), it’s Kipp who alerts me with his high-pitched screech. Similar, isn't it?
Mining The Court Reports
An invaluable resource for crime reporters is the court documents and reports that detail trials, arrests, charges, and any other related information. These are intricate documents that require reporters to possess an eye for detail to extract the pertinent data. Clearly, it's not all high-speed chases and arriving at dramatic crime scenes. Sometimes it's down to the nitty-gritty, grappling with legal terminologies and jargon. Even I grapple with battling through piles of paper at times, bringing order out of the chaos; surely crime reporting isn't much different.
Scanning Police Scanners
Police scanners cast a wide net, picking up all the radio frequencies used by emergency services. This device becomes an indispensable tool for local news networks to detect crime as it happens. I remember when Lenore once picked up the neighbour's walkie-talkie frequency, causing all kinds of confusion! Just as I scrambled to make sense of it, crime reporters and journalists are constantly sifting through the noise on the police scanners to track significant crime developments.
The Spies in Public Records
Here's something juicy. Public records, including property transactions, criminal records, arrest warrants, and even marriage licences can expose potential stories! An investigative journalist knows that if they can burrow down deep into those archives, they may just hit the jackpot of exclusive crime stories. It's rather like our family game of treasure hunt, where Lenore and Grover are often shuffling through the attic, looking for the 'X' marks the spot, discovering vital clues from the mundane possessions.
The Use of Social Media
Finally, we must acknowledge the role of Social Media today, serving as a hub of collective information. It's like trying to find the pin in a haystack, where the haystack is Twitter. Citizen reporting and individual updates from people present at crime scenes can sometimes uncover a treasure of information. Like that time Kipp mimicked the neighbour's weird gurgle, causing quite a few questions at the next BBQ party – sometimes, you just never know where that next big lead will come from, do you?
Well, that's my take on how news station get their crime news. It's a complex, often nerve-racking, yet always an exciting endeavour. Just like living a day in Perth with Bella and Kipp! Now, I’d better rescue Lenore’s doll from Bella before it becomes her new chew toy. Stay tuned for the next post - it's going to be a thrilling one!