In the past year, we have seen the media become the target during protests/riots. It is imperative when security agents are guarding media personnel, they know how to handle an always evolving situation. That’s the topic is this week’s video series, “Strong, Safe & True,” with Scott Castleman. Scott is former law enforcement, instructor, and owns an investigative and security firm. Castleman actually teaches courses on how to keep the media safe.
Protecting media comes with its own separate challenges. With most guarding situations, a plan is formed and enacted. In the news business, it’s hard to have a plan, as crews are constantly redirected and you are typically dealing with crowds that are always moving and could become unruly in a matter of seconds. Scott says that’s why he always has one hand on his client while moving through a crowd. He has learned little tricks along the way, like not turning on the light on the top of the camera until absolutely necessary and learning how to blend in with the crowd, to not attract attention.
Scott says the biggest mistake security companies tend to make is when the first flash bang hits, agents grab media personnel and take them away. He says it’s important to understand, that the chaos is what the media is there to capture. So agents need to learn how to effectively protect the media amid the drama, not yank them out as soon as it starts. This can be tricky but Scott says anyone he protects knows if he says it’s time to go, it’s definitely time to go.
One other thing to watch for is what you say because media crews typically are streaming live, even during downtime in a protest. That means anything that is said is broadcast for all to hear. For more tips check out the video and remember to visit our website for more videos like this one!