How come journalists are able to find/interview wanted criminals yet authorities have a hard time catching them?

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How come journalists are able to find/interview wanted criminals yet authorities have a hard time catching them?

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Wanted criminals contact journalists when they want to make their side of the story public, they don’t tend to contact the police unless they’re giving themselves up.

Are you thinking of people like Julian Assange or Ed Snowden? Some fugitives are ‘hiding in plain sight’ – it’s not that people don’t know where they are, it’s just that there are rules preventing the authorities from making an arrest. And sometimes the reporter just finds them first – some reporters are really smart, and would have made great detectives.

Fugitives might even be eager to talk to the media; they could call a reporter and say “I want to tell my side of the story; can you meet me?”.

The police have a much higher burden of proof then journalists and have to follow much stricter laws. Police might “know” where a wanted criminal is and who is hiding them but they might not be able to prove it enough for a search warrant or they may be in an area the police does not have authority over and the police that do have authority does not prioritize the case. Then there is the issue of getting enough forces into possition to actually do the arrest without raising suspicion allowing them to flee.

It is much easier for a single journalist to prove who they are and get access to people without a search warrant. However it is one thing to get access to someone in order to do an interview but another thing entirely to actually be able to arrest them, especially if you have to fabricate all the evidence of you being a journalist and hope that people do not notice that you are not.

There are cases where politicians, and even police, have been visiting wanted criminals in order to negotiate or while conducting investigations. But it is almost impossible to arrest someone under those conditions.

Because in many western countries, there are special laws/priviliges for journalists and press in general, which gives them the right of not disclosing identities or anything in general to authorities.

This makes them so to say “neutral” and mostly untouchable.
It may vary from country to country, but it’s mostly the same.