Police departments are constantly struggling to get the local media to report on topics that, in spite of their best efforts, still go uncovered and theyâre frustrated that when they do gain media attention, the story is often reported, well, not quite right. The latest department to up the ante using open source technology and move more towards providing its own news is the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), and the local media are less than thrilled about it.
We’ll correct the news stories that got it wrong and highlight the ones that got it right. âŚ. We encourage you to check back to The Source at www.milwaukeepolicenews.comÂ when you hear news reports that prompt you to seek more information. We’d like you to check us out first, because we will provide the news to you at the same time we’re providing it to the media.
Itâs not only about generating their own news but PDâs are also having to work more efficiently during a time when most are facing cuts to their ranks. Some might think that MPD is acting progressively and efficiently, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel isnât seeing it that way. It an editorial entitled The bunker at the Milwaukee Police Department the Journal said to expect to hear from the MPD about âwhat a great job officers are doingâ in The Source and updates about âwhen the next bake sale will be held.â The paper compared the MPD to the Pravda, of the [former] Soviet Union.
Chief Ed Flynn answered the Journalâs editorial, online, on The Source (of course). He pointed out that most large PDâs donât do daily media briefings and that reporters will still have the same access to ask questions of the PD. He added, âWe already have been engaged with the community via a robust presence on social media â Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Weâre not new to the public conversation. Weâre enhancing it.â
MPDâs Communications Director Anne Schwartz says her skin has gotten a little thicker this week. She added, âThere will still be news conferences, there will still be availabilities withÂ Chief Flynn âŚ This news site replaces the outdated face-to-face briefings with a select few media representatives, with a contemporary platform that enables anyone who wants to, with access to information for all. That is the essence of public information.â
The final word from both opinion pieces pretty much sums up the weekâs events:
The Journal editorial ended with,
âThe truth, unspun by government officials, usually does get out. This news organization and the others in town will make sure that happens.â
From Chief Flynn,Â
âTo the Journal Sentinel I say, âWelcome to the 21st Centuryâ.â