In a letter submitted to Governor Phil Scott this past Friday, the Vermont Association of Broadcasters asked for an Executive Order giving First Informer Status to Broadcasters.
Used in various forms in Washington, Missouri, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Georgia, this status ensures that essential workers in the broadcast industry have the requisite access needed to keep Vermonters informed during severe weather, emergencies, disasters and times of crisis. It calls for a protocol to be established whereby essential broadcast workers are issued an official First Informer credential that is recognized and honored by state and local law enforcement on the scene during severe weather, emergency, disaster or crisis. Read the full letter to Governor Scott Here.
A mini documentary that aired during the National Association of Broadcasters’ State Leadership Conference in February details the role that local radio and television broadcasters serve as first informers during times of emergency. This film focuses on broadcasters’ response to Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, which hit the southeastern U.S. in the fall of 2018, causing evacuations and billions of dollars in property damage. It showcases footage of the storm as well as examples of broadcasters’ valiant efforts to provide life-saving emergency information and community assistance.