/// Most News Organizations Are Using Security Contractors to Help Keep Their Teams Safe in Sochi

February 10, 2014  |  Media Week

With the Winter Olympics underway, the governments of several countries (including the U.S.) have battened down the hatches in case of violence, attracting both sports and political coverage to Sochi. U.S. counterterrorism officials have cited “specific threats of varying degrees of credibility that we’re tracking,” and news organizations must report on breaking news while protecting workers from the ever-present threat of violence. NBC and CBS didn’t comment, citing safety concerns; ABC did not return a request for comment. But all news organizations mentioned are believed to use outside security contractors on such assignments. The Sochi Olympics are a rare junction of geopolitics and feel-good sports coverage—NBC will be trying to get its money’s worth out of the $4.38 billion contract to air the games until 2020, but every news division will be on high alert for the promised terrorist attacks. There are also virtual impediments to coverage—Homeland Security is warning watchers that opportunistic hackers are likely to set up fake versions of news sites to acquire personal information, and Russian intelligence is monitoring social media, email and telephone traffic so closely that it’s been described as “the NSA on steroids.” “The news organizations have had enough practice making themselves secure, particularly around the 2005-2006 period,” said TV news analyst Andrew Tyndall.

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Most News Organizations Are Using Security Contractors to Help Keep Their Teams Safe in Sochi


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