The multiple, precisely timed bombings in London remind broadcasters of the critical role they play in moments when public safety is threatened and the silent presence of terrorism that strikes without warning.
Following the attack on New York City and Washington, D.C. Sept. 11, the FCC-sponsored Media Security and Reliability Council has grappled with substantive issues designed to ensure that critical broadcast, satellite and cable infrastructures can adapt and function in the aftermath of an attack or natural disaster.
On Nov. 16, 2004, the council published its “Local Television Station Model Vulnerability Checklist” to help local broadcasters prepare for such events.
Additionally, the council has published best practices to assist stations, which include:
Television broadcasters with local news origination should ensure that they have robust and redundant ways to communicate with external news services and remote news teams. This includes the use of mobile radio and Internet to augment cell phones as well as some means of receiving remote feeds (e.g., directly at tower site or at a cable headend) and delivering live news and information from a remote site (e.g., ENG/SNG truck).
Television broadcasters with local news origination should plan to have emergency origination capability at a separate location from their primary studio (e.g., backup studio, transmitter site, ENG remote, another station, cable headend, etc.)
Station managers, chief engineers and news directors can find the best practices and the checklist at www.mstv.org.
For more information on the Media Security and Reliability Council, visit www.mediasecurity.org.