Seven evacuates Martin Place newsroom as networks move to rolling news and global media races to cover siege

Sydney's Daily Telegraph published a special 2pm edition with a cover wrap

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph published a special 2pm edition with a cover wrap

Network Seven was forced to clear its Sydney CBD studio taking its national Morning Show off air due to the unfolding hostage situation in the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, while reports claim the hostage taker has demanded to speak to the Prime Minister live on radio.

The network’s newsroom directly overlooks the cafe on Elizabeth Street, with the channel the first to carry the reports of the incident and live pictures of hostages pressed against windows.

However that feed was cut temporarily this morning with a Seven News reporter confirming on air it had been for operational reasons. Journalists have now moved to the network’s headquarters in nearby Jones Bay where a temporary newsroom was being set up.

Meanwhile 2GB’s Ray Hadley reported that the hostage taker has made demands to speak to Prime Minister Tony Abbott live on radio. Hadley also told listeners that he had received a phone call from a hostage inside the building, but added that he declined to put them on the air for their own safety.

Hadley also added the police commissioner in NSW has told him other media outlets and newsrooms are getting similar messages from hostages as the hostage taker tries to get his message out via the media.

Mobile phone signals are jammed congested, meaning journalists on the spot have been struggling to get on air, according to reports.

News Corp and Sky News political commentator Chris Kenny had been in the busy cafe just a few minutes before the situation unfolded, and was still on a bench outside when police closed off the area.

Most TV and radio networks were carrying rolling coverage of the unfolding situation while the Daily Telegraph published a special 2pm print edition. The headline suggested the siege was the action of the IS “death cult”.

The Australian Press Council has confirmed to Mumbrella the edition has attracted “at least one complaint” by 4pm, but did not specify how many, or the nature of them.

telgraph hostage edition

NSW Police issued a statement urging media to “be responsible in their reporting” adding “speculation can cause unnecessary alarm”.

Local communications agencies near the incident that are understood to be safe but locked in include one of Australia’s largest creative agency offices M&C Saatchi, and PR agency Edelman.

The news story is leading many global media websites.

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