Benton says media outlets often exacerbate campus crises.

Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton told higher-education officials March 7 in Washington, D.C. that they should be wary of contact with journalists covering campus emergencies such as fires and shootings. Instead, Benton said, students should rely solely on the university for updated information.

Benton spoke at the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Annual Meeting at the Washington Hilton during a session called, “Leading Through Crises in the Digital Age.”

Mass text messages, eMail alerts, and phone calls to students and faculty members have become key in response to campus emergencies, but Benton said assuring students that school officials will provide up-to-the-minute information on what to do during a crisis should be a top priority for decision makers in charge of planning for emergencies.

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