Panel talks about dangers facing journalists

A panel discussion on Wednesday talked about the safety of broadcasters and journalists in light of new threats.

The panel discussion titled “Personal Safety in Today’s Broadcasting Environment” was led by WLUK-TV News Director and WBA Board member Juli Buehler. The panel included RTDNA Executive Director Dan Shelley, Quincy Media Regional Vice President Tom Allen, WORT-FM Board President David Devereaux-Weber, attorney David Oxenford, and Madison Police Chief Mike Koval. The discussion was a session during the WBA Broadcasters Clinic in Madison.

The panelists talked about recent incidents of violence in broadcast facilities and against journalists, including a recent shooting at WORT-FM, a community radio station in Madison. The panel discussed ways that engineers and managers can work to plan for crisis situations and train employees to react appropriately.

Shelley spoke to the new threats facing journalists. Chief Koval talked about what stations can expect from police departments when planning for a shooting or reacting to one. Devereaux-Weber talked about the shooting at WORT-FM and how it’s changed how he views security at his station. Oxenford discussed the liability concerns being raised by employers facing the threat of workplace violence.

The panel agreed that broadcasters should be planning for the possibility of workplace violence and taking all threats seriously.