BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — There is a famous editorial cartoon by the New Yorker’s J.B. Handlesman of a police line with the words “no video cameras beyond this point.” It is a reminder of the absurd belief held by some that an event in plain view is exempt from being recorded or reported because someone says it should be exempt from recording or reporting.
It just doesn’t work like that.
We have received quite a bit of email and social media traffic from those who believe events involving police and fire rescue officials in “gated communities” should be kept private.
It just doesn’t work like that.
In Florida — and, quite frankly much of the free world, yes even New York — when police or other first responders show up, there is absolutely no expectation of privacy. To put it another way: whatever is happening is now a taxpayer-funded public event that is subject to reporting, videotaping and photographing. Are all details immediately accessible? Of course not. But is the fact that an event is occurring ever private? No.
To the benefit of South Florida residents, public officials here embrace Florida’s Sunshine Act. The Boca Raton Police Department, The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Delray Beach Police, Boynton Beach Police, and Boca Raton Fire Rescue employ some of the most professional public servants you will ever find. They also employ some of the best public information officers you will ever encounter. What’s the job of a PIO? It’s to ensure that public information is made public and that the facts are louder than the fiction that often rides along with events rising to the level of news coverage.
Over the past several days, BocaNewsNow.com has received threats and other communication expressing extreme displeasure with our breaking news coverage. Facebook posts, including comments like “I don’t like (BocaNewsNow.com) spilling our neighborhood business everywhere,” “just saw an a-hole from BocaNewsNow.com,” and “I hate that P.O.S. BocaNewsNow.com.” have been prevalent on public and private social media outlets.
And this is the tame stuff.
While we’re clearly doing something right if we’re generating so much animosity, we also stand firm that the public has a right to know what’s happening when roads are shut down, when helicopters hover, and most importantly, when police and rescuers risk their lives to save the lives of others who made poor decisions.
Facts have never been as important as they are in today’s hyper-charged environment. BocaNewsNow.com is a hobby. It is not a full-time job. But it is run by people who actually care about the facts and making sure those facts are louder than “fake news noise.” Our readership is much larger than you might expect for a local news website.
We are approaching our seventh birthday. We have posted more than 5,000 stories. Our pages have been viewed millions of times.
It turns out that there is a market for facts.
Have a problem with what we report? Be a grownup. Send us a note to news (at) bocanewsnow.com or use the contact form on this site.
Debate is healthy. Threats are not.
Thanks for reading BocaNewsNow.com.