The fucking "news"stations

The store where my husband works was robbed last Thursday at gunpoint. It was very traumatic for the employees because they were rounded up, had their hands duct taped behind their backs, and towels thrown over their heads. It was the first armed robbery in my town in almost 3 years.

So what do the local news stations do? Two of the three major channels broadcast (several times) that the store does not have security cameras.

Gee, let’s tell the whole metro area that such and such store is a fucking sitting duck.

And guess what happened yesterday? A guy ran in, grabbed a printer and ran out the door with it. The store manager chased him until the police took over. The guy threw the printer out of his car window, apparently thinking it would get the cops off his ass. But the cops do stop chasing him. Because he leaves their jurisdiction. Holy fucking mother cow.

I am simply speechless… Not only do the news stations advertise a store can’t record a robbery, then when the store is robbed again, and the thief runs from police, the POLICE STOP CHASING HIM!

Excuse me while I go explode…:mad:

News station do not broadcast information like that in order to help criminals, they do it to affect change. Don’t you think someone who would consider robbing a place like that had already cased it out for security flaws? Also, robbery stores like this almost always include a sercurity camera photo of the suspect. If this story didn’t, don’t you think a true criminal would put two and two together?

The New York Post had a big fight about this a while back. They did a series of articles on how easy it was to make a look-alike police car or ambulance. The point wasn’t to tell people hey, do this and you can cause trouble, the point was to get the laws changed to make that harder.

Perhaps they should install video cameras, or at least dummy cameras.

I used to work for a school system that installed cameras on some of the school buses to monitor student behavior. They couldn’t afford cameras for every bus so they made movable cameras. The students couldn’t know whether there was an active camera on a bus or not. Just the threat of being recorded was sufficient.

Yeah, well I gotta say I thought that was pretty fucking stupid. Trust me, they gave those animals more ideas with that one.

Hmm, apparently my post didn’t go through. Anyway, there’s a difference between needing to publicize something to make a big bureaucracy move on an issue, to protect the public’s safety (the police department example), and to publicize the security lapse on the part of a single store, serving only to advertise how vulnerable it is and endanger its employees further. After all, I’d assume the store owner got the idea that security cameras would be good things by the very fact of being robbed, and only exposing them to more robberies when they’re already out money will make it harder for them to do that. Plus a fair number of criminals might even attempt to rob the store even after the cameras are in place, as they assume there are none, putting the workers and other customers in further danger.

I’m pretty shocked that the owner of the store wouldn’t go out and buy a couple of security cameras after 1) his store was just robbed at gunpoint, risking the lives of his employees and 2) that the lack of security cameras was publicized.

I think failing to take a simple measure of security – installing a camera or two – is one hundred times more irresponsible than the press reporting details about the first robbery.

Yeah I always love the sensationalist bullshit these rags throw out under the guise of “public safety”.

Bring it to the attention of the proper authorities and shut the fuck up.

With them, it’s all about the eyeballs.

Right… because no-one had ever done such a thing before the NYP pulled the idea out of thin air.

I agree, it was totally irresponsible. All media outlets should adopt a “keep the bad guys in the dark” editorial policy, which would be much more sensible that illuminating the situation for the home team.

Do you even know what the fuck you’re talking about?

I’m referring to a big spread in the NY Post that was talking about how you go buy a used cop cars for dirt cheap, and ordering NYPD car stickers and shit over the web for dirt cheap, basically saying how easy it would be for terrorists to pass off as police officers.

IIRC this was before the Iraq war, so I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about with your quote.

Psst… that’s just the most recent example.

Ask the Israelis if they think the Post thought of it first.

Apart from terrorists, run-of-the-mill bad guys have been exploiting this trick for years.

Of course it’s a real threat, but the point is they should send the results of their findings to the proper authorities, instead of using it as some shock piece to freak already jittery NYers out.

YMMV

Dummy cameras could get you killed. What if the robber doesn’t believe you when you tell him there is no tape?

Damn, good one. Never really thought of that.

Of course, with IP systems and bandwidth getting cheaper, I imagine it won’t be too long until all the images are just stored off-site…

-Joe, IP camera guy

Give him a dummy tape. What, he’s going to sit there and watch it in the store?

Former journalism major and print reporter checking in here.

The television stations were waaaaay off base in this instance. The whole purpose of news reporting is to cover the story as it exists. Essentially, that means answering the five questions of journalism – who, what, when, where, and how. The essential gist of every hard-news piece (such as a story on a store being robbed) A reporter should be capable of summing up in a single sentence the essential gist of every hard news piece (such as a story on a store being robbed) by answering those five questions.

The story, in this case, is the robbery. What happened, how it was done, when and where it happened, and who did it. Naturally, the “who” is probably unknown at the moment.

At no point is the existence or lack thereof of security cameras in the store germaine to this story. Therefore, it shouldn’t have been included in the story.

Now, if the station/newspaper/magazine/whatever is doing a series on the lack of security devices in the metro area, and the store owner who has no cameras is stupid enough to appear on camera/be quoted in the story, then yeah, it’s germaine and should be included. But in this instance, it’s a pointless bit of fluff that could have (and possibly did) lead to at least one more robbery attempt.

Yeah, and that one news organization gets brushed off with a “yeah, yeah, we’ll get right on it”. I think you’ll get more results when instead of just one news organization, it’s a news organization plus several thousand readers/viewers complaining as well. What incentive do legislators have in pleasing a news organization? But if the general public knew about this problem and lawmakers failed to act on it, they’d vote for people who would.

Sorry I haven’t gotten back in here in a while - I’ve been so busy I haven’t been on the Dope since I posted that.

It is a chain store, so the store manager can’t just go buy a camera. It has to go up the chain of command.

And this is completely different then ratting out being able to buy police cars cheap. This is advertising that a local store, directly off the Interstate, with about 4 or 5 employees (usually) there when the store opens, keeps $5,000 in a safe that a manager can open, and there are no cameras.
That is begging for someone to come try it again

Incentive? The incentive is we minimize the risk of getting blown the fuck up by a method suggested on the front page of a newspaper.

How about the news org goes to the FBI or the local police force with the info, and they in turn go to our legislators. Legislators should have enough common sense to act on the recommendations of the FBI or police. There are times that the whistle needs to be blown, but not every time a pothole needs to be filled.

I thought the Post article crossed the line, you have the right to feel different.

While I agree that the news stations acted irresponsibly in broadcasting the “no cameras” situation, this post makes me think that the store owner (or whoever gave the details to the reporters) also screwed up.

There is NO reason to tell the media how much money was stolen. None. Doing so just puts a big “Rob me” sign on your front door. There’s a reason many robbery reports in the media say “escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash” or something similar.

Nor is there a reason to tell the media that a manager on-site can open the store’s safe. In fact, most convenience stores around here make it a point to post little “Time-lock safe/Manager cannot open” stickers in plain sight on the door. Even if that isn’t true, at least it’s a deterrent.

The news stations shouldn’t have broadcast the bit about the cameras. But they were apparently given a ton of information about the store that they never should have received in the first place.

Actually, if you’ll recall, it’s a method that had been in used many times to great effect in countries in which terrorist bombings had already become routine, and the NYP article was prompted by widely-publicized alerts to be on the look-out for false emergency vehicles or people trying to acquire them, which came after two Pakistani men unsuccessfully (and quite innocently) attempted to buy an ambulance in New Jersey.

The possibilty of terrorists’ use of emergency vehicles was already on the table, because it had already been established that that’s something terrorists do, and NYC officials were warning the public that they had concerns baddies were planning something similar in NYC. It was the talk of the town already.

The NYP article led almost immediately to tighter controls being placed on the over-the-counter sale of official-looking decals for emergency vehicles, because public awareness helps get things like that moving. Even with all the security warnings, Manhattan businesses were quite happy to hand over these items for a few hundred bucks, with practically no questions asked. That’s clearly an intolerable situation that you want to correct as soon as possible.

The NYP did not name the store that provided the decals, or the dealer who supplied the roof-rack so it’s not like they were advertising for them. Is pointing out that you can buy replica police gear in Times Square a security risk? Anyone who desired to have such things would have no trouble finding them-- You know-- advertising. The article provided no intelligence or ideas that would not already be obvious to a potential car-bomber – only a fire under the ass of the people who needed to change the situation.

You’ve got a situation that needs to be changed immediately in the interest of public safety. At the same time, no laws are apparently being broken. People are generally resistent to voluntarily act in such a way as to reduce their income. You think that the responsible thing to have done would have been to write a couple of letters and phone a few people and just hope that everything worked out before someone got killed? Direct pressure from the public works a lot faster, sometimes. A business-owner who knows that sixteen million people are concerned that he might be putting them at risk may drop his “It’s a free country – I ain’t breakin’ any laws” attitude a bit quicker.