Tell us how conciliation works.


Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The authorities accepted it and the rumor control the second night.

Question:
Could you talk about Rumor Control Centers?

Answer:
That is where there have been civil disorders. One of the ingredients of civil disorders always is that misinformation is going around. There's a lot of fear; there's a lot of people picking up bits and pieces of information and spreading it. Rumors come out and most of the time they're very destructive. The police pick up things like, "Carloads of Hispanics are coming up from Boston." This was in Lawrence. There are all these type of rumors. How do you control that and get the correct information out both to the authorities and to the community? What we recommend very strongly is setting up a rumor control and information center so that information can be filtered and rumors can be investigated and properly handled. People are told to call the police or whoever is doing the verification process. There's a whole protocol of how to set it up and how to do it and to assure that there is a centralized type of information center that basically is there to end the rumors and to dispense proper information to the public and the media.

Question:
Who generally manages that?

Answer:
Our recommendation has been that they get a person from the city, usually from the Mayor's communication center, to be in charge of the center and the people who answer the calls can be a cross section of persons from the community. A centralized number is issued so that persons hearing rumors or wanting reliable information are urged to call the rumor control and information center. The team at the center checks out each rumor with the proper authorities and provides the accurate information both to those calling and to the public through the media.

Question:
How do the people know that this kind of thing is set up and created?

Answer:
Through the media, especially the electronic media, television, radio and the press.






Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I work with the media because I know it's an important part of controlling rumors for school riots and things like that.





Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Frequently, you have two parties in a conflict and there's been a lot of talk and a lot of alleged communication, but just because people are talking, doesn't mean that they're communicating. So part of the role that we, as mediators, play, is making sure that if people are talking, that the other side is listening and understanding. In a setting like this, I think that was as crucial as any case that we've worked in.






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