Chertoff promises reporters improved communications during emergencies

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told an audience last month in Las Vegas that the Department of Home Security (DHS) would begin an "embedded" reporter program during crises, such as hurricanes.

The plan would give reporters first-hand information about the government response to the crisis and would help facilitate the flow of information to the public.

Speaking at the RTNDF Luncheon at the annual conference of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, Chertoff said that on a daily basis it “often looks like the media and government are squabbling with each other,” when in fact “we’re all on the same team” during a crisis.

While acknowledging that his agency could have done a much better job during Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff said preparations are in high gear for a better response to this year’s hurricane season. Noting that he flew directly to Las Vegas from a morning meeting in Austin, Chertoff announced that his department has now designated federal officials to serve as liaisons to state governors in hurricane-prone areas.

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