Police Criticize Media

9 years 10 months 5 days ago March 13, 2007 Mar 13, 2007 Tuesday, March 13 2007 Tuesday, March 13, 2007 7:42:00 PM CDT in News
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Columbia police said they felt the media caused problems in a day already complicated by trying to keep the peace between Nazi protestors and those opposing them.

"The media tended not to want to listen to us," Schwartze said. "They didn't listen, didn't get back when we asked, for the majority of them. They wanted to get that shot or that interview. They tend to get caught up in it."

Dozens of newspaper, TV and radio reporters showed up to cover the event. Even students from MU's journalism school came out to cover the event.

KOMU's news director Stacey Woelfel said in cases like Saturday's, reporters were right to be there, but still need to know their boundaries.

"I think the line has to be covering the story of becoming part of the story. They can get in there close and get that shot and not come into contact with people," Woelfel said.

"When you get into that type of situation with a large number of people, sometimes the crowd will move you." Schwartze said.

Police arrested seven people; no reporters were among that number.  Columbia police are pleased with the result.

"If you have to quantify success, I guess, that's successful to us," Schwartze said.

Columbia police officers said they did appreciate the coverage of more positive events in town on Saturday.

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