Legal analysis poses questions about safety, security

David Oxenford

Attorney David Oxenford is drawing attention to a session at the WBA Broadcasters Clinic last month that focused on safety and security for broadcasters and broadcast stations. Oxenford was a member of the session panel and wrote about the session today on his blog.

In his blog post, Oxenford said security is an issue for all broadcasters, no matter what market you’re in:

“Two of the panelists discussed their experiences, one a shooting at a small community-run radio station and the second an intruder making threats and smashing station property in broad daylight at a small market TV station. These incidents, beyond simply raising questions of employee safety, raise both practical and legal issues for all broadcasters.”

Oxenford said the topic is an important one because the solutions aren’t always clear.

“These are not easy decisions, and there are no clear answers as to what stations need to do to keep their employees safe on the job, while still interacting with the community to provide the localism on which broadcasting thrives.”

Oxenford advocates for planning.

“Stations should be thinking about how to ensure a safe workplace, and taking active measures to reduce risks. Some companies have already started to review social media accounts of their stations and their on-air employees to try to identify threats early – as some online remarks may be indicative of real potential threats to station personnel.”

His full blog post is here.

You can watch a video of the session here.