Did the parties ever agree to a policy regarding statements to the press as a condition of negotiation or mediation?


Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

did any of the parties ever insist on having the media present in order to sit down at the table?

Answer:
No. I can't remember anytime.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did any of the parties ever demand the use of the media in order to follow through with an agreement?

Answer:
It's understood that the agreements are public, so they're going to need to cooperate with the media. It's normally done through a press conference. Everybody gets the agreement, everybody understands. Usually these agreements are made available to everybody; libraries, community centers, whatever is affected by the agreement. Nowadays, there are very sophisticated ways of email and all that.

Question:
Did any groups ever use media involvement as a condition of working with you?

Answer:
Yes. That group that I was telling you about where the Hispanics went through about two and a half hours of history of their grandparents and great grandparents. They sat down and came up with their demands. They wanted a meeting with the police to discuss dropping the charge against those who called off the festival because they were liable for all the damage incurred by the vendors. There were four police agencies involved, the state police, sheriff's department, police association and the police department from that city. In order to resolve it, we needed to get all these four agencies in one room together so they could respond, and not pass the buck. Well, one of the conditions besides all these I mentioned was a public meeting, with all the media there. The agencies didn't want the media or a public meeting, so they agreed to have one reporter at this session in lieu of the public. The community made those two demands and they only got one, but they were satisfied.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Was it a problem to have a reporter at the meeting?

Answer:
No, that was a condition for the mediation, on the agreement of both parties. The police said, "We've got nothing to hide," but they didn't want a community meeting because it could be disruptive and it probably would have gotten out of hand. It wasn't that they were trying to act in private, just that they didn't want to expose themselves to a situation that would get out of hand. A situation where they would have to take more action because that was the original charge of police brutality and police abuse, so they felt that a private meeting with the media there would settle their purposes. And the community would know anyway, so let's have a reporter, and they agreed to it.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

As I walked out of the room I remember a BBDCO leader pounding on the table and waving his fist at me and saying, "there ainít going to be no mediation in this place and if there is, itís going to be in front of television cameras.Ē So that told me that the only question we had to resolve ultimately would be the openness of mediation to the press.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Often in mediation, you work out a press policy with the parties. They might want to make a statement or they may want the mediator to do it for them. Now, the most important rule to me was that the parties involved in the conflict often were seeking recognition and heightening public awareness of the conflict no matter what side they were on, and they donít want the mediator hogging all of the newspaper space. So if you stay out of the story, it leaves room for coverage of the parties and they want their voices out there, they want their names in the paper. So I tried to not get in the way of that.

Question:
How often did the parties say things to the press that would have been better not said?

Answer:
I donít know. It happened, but I canít make that judgment for a party because maybe I didnít like it, but from their end it may have been important.






Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did any of the parties ever demand having the media present or give a report in order to continue any negotiation process?

Answer:
No, I don't think so. I remember one case where the media tried every way they could to get as close to us as they could. We were in that Portland case and we were meeting in this conference room and it had big windows. Low and behold I was facing the windows and the parties were on either side of this long table and I suddenly realized as my focus went out the window there was a camera team set up on the roof of the building across the street aimed right at us. To us it was a joke because of course they didn't know what was being said, but we laughed at it and closed the blinds or something like that, or waved at them, but that was funny.







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