I can tell you how it was done 1970s-1990s. Local reporters would come in very early (around 4:00am) and ask to see the arrest and incident reports. Said reports were hand written and kept in two separate files. The reporters would then transpose the information from the reports onto the legal pad most all carried. From there the local news was created. Oh, and if there was something in the report that would jeopardize an investigation we would somehow highlight that information and write "not for news" so it wouldn't get published. That's how the local news worked. The television stations would call and ask if we had any news to report. Then it was up to the officer answering the phone to report any stories or not. I remember when the reporter that called from Channel 11 was Robin Sells Wilhoit, now the anchor on Knoxville's WBIR. She would call around 2:30am and I would try to be at the dispatch desk just so I could talk to her. Guess you could say I had a crush on her.:) The arrest and incident reports were by law considered open information, so I assume anybody could ask to see them. Again that was how it worked years ago. I hope I've answered your question.