The story of the police operation that never became

The District Command of Faro of the PSP released yesterday, the 9th, at 11:49 am, a “Press Release” announcing an operation […]

The District Command of Faro of the PSP released yesterday, the 9th, at 11:49 am, a “Press Release” announcing a police operation of “great impact”, during the early hours of this Saturday to Sunday, involving the PSP, the GNR, the PJ and the SEF.

It was a «Press Release» (this is the title of the document sent in PDF, as you can see in the attached image), sent to all newsrooms, namely to the Sul Informação, no different from the communiqués that the PSP usually sends with information about arrests and operations.

Like any "Press Release", most online news outlets and radios, although finding it strange about the strategy of making the operation known before it takes place, released it. We released this information, as did Antena1 radio, just to give two examples.

And soon there were comments of astonishment among readers, namely among those of the Sul Informação, due to the fact that PSP is announcing to the four winds an operation "of great impact".

But, even though the strategy is strange, the "Press Release" was interpreted by most media as a simple press release, capable of being disseminated, like all others with the same title and the same type of wording that every day they arrive.

In my case, I must say that, although I find it strange, I interpreted the PSP initiative as those posters that are placed by the side of the road, warning that a certain section is being monitored with radar. Even if there is no radar there, the truth is that the simple “notice to navigation” works as a deterrent…and everyone starts to circulate within the speed limits.

I must also say that, in 26 years as a journalist, having worked in national and regional press agencies (Agência Lusa, O Jornal, Diário de Notícias, Independente, windward and now Sul Informação), I have reported on many police operations. And in none of these previous police operations the invitation for journalists to participate came through a simple email, entitled "Communiqué and Press", like all the others that the PSP sends almost every day.

Until now, invitations have been made by phone call to the newsroom or to journalists directly. And, if they arrive by email (I don't remember any case, but I admit that it may have happened), somewhere in the text you should say that it is a confidential invitation. And not that it is a “Press Release”.

I therefore assume that, after the publicity that this police operation had before its time, it was simply cancelled.

O Sul Informação regrets the whole situation. But the PSP cannot claim that journalists are to blame. THE guilt it is from the PSP and who allowed such a “Press Release” to be released, under the terms in which it was. I wouldn't even like to talk about guilt, because it's not my place to blame in a case that is, at the very least, ridiculous. I'll just talk about ringed. And I reaffirm that whoever made the choke was the one who released the «Press Release» in the terms in which it was written.

Next time, explain yourself better!


Note: By the way, here is the definition of Press Release - Press release, press-release or simply release is a statement made by an individual or organization to the press, with the aim of spreading news or an event.


See the Communiqué in full here:

Release 09DEC2011