FEMA looking to track nationwide news coverage of their activities around the clock
Madison Ruppert Editor of End the Lie
For some people, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is just that – an agency that manages emergencies, or at least tries to, and often screws it up.
To others, FEMA is an apt example of the disturbing blurring of the lines between local, state and federal law enforcement and even perhaps a danger to the American people with the moves to create operable detention centers on 72 hours’ notice through KBR.
Not to mention that FEMA is part of what I have no problem calling one of the most problematic government agencies, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Apparently FEMA is trying to help twist the public’s perception of them and their work, not by actually improving themselves but instead by monitoring media coverage in order to present a better face.
According to a solicitation posted on February 15, FEMA is looking to contract a media monitoring firm “To monitor the effectiveness of public affairs messaging, and respond to critical events, FEMA requires the ability to monitor and retrieve clips and transcripts from network and local television affiliates in a rapid manner upon demand 24/7 through an on-line distribution service.”
This monitoring, archiving and analysis would spread across all local news in all “major Nielsen markets,” along with all nationally broadcasted news and all cable news outlets for their coverage of FEMA and their activities.
The monitoring service will be tasked with giving FEMA “media statistics including the audience exposure and publicity value,” for any given news coverage.
“Publicity value” is not defined but one can assume that this is either a subjective determination of the impact of a news story or perhaps an objective determination based on how many outlets cover a given story/event, what the tone of the coverage is (positive or negative), how much time is given to the coverage, etc.
Currently, the FEMA office of external affairs monitors news coverage for their Joint Field Offices (JFOs) along with their headquarters’ broadcast operations.
The project seems to be considerably large, with the solicitation stating that it should be able to hold an unlimited number of digital clips, permanent archiving of said clips, unlimited keyword searches and editing capabilities. Given this capability, it is not a leap to wonder if it might be used to monitor and archive online video and independent news as well.
“The contractor shall provide at least 11 accessible accounts or individual passwords to access the service (with a potential surge capacity of 40 if needed during extremely high disaster activity),” reads the statement of work.
The time frame on this proposal is surprisingly small, with only two days (until February 17) for prospective small businesses to submit questions about the project and until February 23 to have their complete proposals completed and submitted.
This program is clearly not something with the short-term in mind, as FEMA is looking to make this single contract into an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, or IDIQ, contract. This contract would have a one-year base period and three one-year options although it could be extended indefinitely beyond that.
Seeing as we have no money to spend to begin with, making these kinds of plans seems nothing short of foolish.
No price range is given, instead it is written that, “Price will be evaluated using price analysis to determine the extent to which it is reasonable, realistic, and consistent with the proposal.” Meaning we have absolutely no idea how much we will be paying for FEMA to monitor the news.
It seems quite clear to me that the real reason that FEMA is pursuing this project is to increase their ability to craft public statements and their approach to dealing with the public in an attempt to get the public to see the agency more favorably.
This could also be used to help them engineer better ways to announce disasters, direct the public and generally how to more aptly present themselves as to create the reaction they seek, be it positive or negative.
I don’t see any legitimate reason why this should be paid for when there are countless Americans living in the streets or out of cars, struggling to survive and even more who are struggling to get an education or a job.
Yet, if historical precedent is any indicator, I expect to see this contract fulfilled without a hitch and without comment from the mainstream media, as per usual.
Did I miss something? Want to tip me off to a story? Email me immediately at Admin@EndtheLie.com