Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Herald-Leader opposes 911 bill

The Lexington Herald-Leader has called a bill to keep 911 tapes from being broadcast "well intended" but a bad idea.

"The legislature should avoid whittling away at the public's access to government records without a very compelling reason," the paper said in an editorial published Wednesday. "Senate Bill 30 ... fails that test.

"Though well intended, SB 30 is a poorly thought out solution to a mostly non-existent problem."

In Kentucky, 911 calls are currently public records, available to reporters and ordinary citizens alike. Senate Bill 30 was introduced by Sen. John Schickel, a Republican from Boone County. He has said he wants to prevent news outlets from attracting viewers by broadcasting the frantic, sometimes final pleas of victims. It has passed the Senate and is now in the House Judiciary Committee.

The Herald-Leader pointed out in its editorial that Kentucky news outlets rarely broadcast 911 tapes.

For the full text of the editorial, go to

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