On one day SA police commissioner Mal Hyde declined
on radio 5AA to talk about policies so he wouldn’t be seen to be involved in
anything political with the election on. A few days later he’s in The
Advertiser
(here) with the headline “Chief’s Vow… Intelligence initiative designed to take state’s repeat offenders out of circulation.”

Now that’s one of the hottest political
issues. How did The Advertiser get that story? Well, they didn’t have to do much. Out of the blue and at short notice police
reporter Sam Riches was invited to the Commissioner’s office for a half hour
interview on repeat offenders.

Even more amazing is that the article
reports Mal Hyde criticising home detention and saying courts need to be more aware
and not give suspended sentences or community based orders when there is a high
risk because “if we take high risk people and put them in a community setting,
all we have done is take a risk with somebody else’s life. There are more
victims.”

Them’s words we keep hearing from
politicians and others in the political debate. The article was full of controversial
statements. As far as we’re aware, only The Advertiser
got a half hour interview on the topic. Net effect – Hyde got almost a full two pages
with not much analysis or hard questioning by the reporter. Maybe that’s why he chose to do it that
way. In radio, it’s all live and out of your control.

Peter Fray

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