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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #16
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Location: Tavares Fla
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I can certainly see your point Mark, I have seen it first hand. I am an X-firefighter and communications officer, I was well versed in chain of command. My area was an urban area and often the officers would request my tape. Cooperation and experience are a good thing. I always watched my step at a scene, usually this was rewarded by being patient and the scene commander would give me some of his time for an interview. The stations called me for a lot of stories, but they knew not to call for a child in a swimming pool, no news there, just tragedy. I was not an overly aggressive shooter, and it always worked out.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #17
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My experience is professional news guys like you are becoming far and few in between. Fact is there were at least a dozen times I can remember when threat of arrest was the only recourse at a scene. On the other hand I've been fortunate over the years to become really good friends with some TV reporters and still keep in contact with them. Over a beer or two they will tell you that the local TV news in the Atlanta area is really "cut-throat". Several I know who have been in the business for over 20 years have even changed careers because of it. There is a lot of cost cutting going on as I have seen 3 man crews (talent, camerman and sound) be reduced to just the talent. I recall having to show more than one of them how to operate their camera.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Don Parrish View Post
A trend in the United States is taking it's toll on local news.
There were news organizations before radio. They worked by actually talking to people. Cultivating sources. Connecting the dots. Back before it became largely extinct, we called it "investigative reporting". That era ended shortly after 9-Aug-1974.

And don't get me started on the unrestricted publishing of press kits as "news".
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Old December 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #19
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Location: North Bay, ON
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I thought radio waves were a "public resource"...

... and that meant one could moniter that resource legally.

At least, this was the mantra drilled into our brains when we were studying for our Ham Radio licenses in the mid/late '80's here in Ontario.
The limits we were told about went along the lines of "it's PERFECTLY LEGAL TO LISTEN to anything broadcast on radio waves in this country. It is COMPLETELY ILLEGAL TO TAKE ACTION based on anything you hear on those same radio waves."

The example that I remember was "if you listen to a scanner and hear that the RCMP are about to arrest your friend, that's legal and they can't confiscate your equipment or arrest you for listening in. The instant you talk about what you heard to anyone, drive to a that friends house or start calling your friend to warn them (i.e. "take action") you can then be arrested for obstruction, communication with some sort of intent, etc. etc. etc. and your gear will be taken faster than you can blink."

So, my questions for knowledgable Canadian readers:
1. Was my original understanding of the use of public airwaves correct?
2. If so, have there been legislated changes rendering that knowledge obsolete?
3. If so, does anyone know the actual true legal obligations & rights surrounding monitering 1st responder communications, Air Traffic transmissions, etc.?

Oh, and a happy New Year to any and all.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #20
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Yes, my understanding is the same: Is what you do with the information that can put you in trouble in Canada. As long as the receiver is not modified (ie: you bought it at radio shack, etc.), anything this receiver can receive is fair game.

Unlike in US, their law stipulates that the broadcast must be intended for you to be able to receive it legally. Hence stupid situation: It is illegal for a US citizen to listen to “Voice of America”, despite the fact that they pay for it, it is broadcasted from there, but the intended audience is in some other country.
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