Debate Over TV Storm Reporting

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Steve Miller, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Owner
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    Early Sunday morning, Bill Weir, a veteran CNN correspondent, was talking to the anchor Chris Cuomo in the middle of a live shot in Key Largo, Fla. He could barely stand up straight in the lashing winds of Hurricane Irma. At one point, he was nearly blown over by a gust.
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    As video of the incident spread on social media, criticism mounted. “Why do these news networks feel the need to put these reporters out there?” read one tweet. Another said: “This is not safe. Lead by example.”

    Read more: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/...times&smtyp=cur&referer=http://m.facebook.com
     
  2. Drew T

    Drew T EF3

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    I'll start by saying that I saw very little of the coverage of landfall. But it does seem to be a trend in the last several years where everyone in the media has to one up the other outlets. It didn't happen at once of course, but a steady buildup over the course of several years could certainly lead to this.

    I may be way off base, but that's just my thinking.
     
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  3. rdale

    rdale EF5

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  4. JamesCaruso

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    I have to agree with the Slate article. Same reason that correspondents report from war zones. Or that reporters show up at the scene of a newsworthy event even after the event already occurred. There is value in being there and reporting on the scene. Allows the journalist to soak up the "feel" of the event and to more authentically pass that along to the viewer. To use a completely different analogy, it's the same reason a business or political leader *shows up* in person when something is going on, even though most issues can be handled by phone, email, etc.


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  5. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    As long as they don't use the tired old "we're out here so you don't have to be" or "we're doing this to save lives" BS to justify why they're out there, I can see the journalistic value in it. Although, referencing the Slate article, the aspect of presenting live images to the public so as to limit the spread of faked images from the scene on social media is a very new aspect of covering disasters that has only emerged in the last 5 or so years. No one could have used that argument before the 2005ish-2010ish time frame. So that weakens the defense in the article quite a bit in my opinion.

    If they're doing it because they think it shows the power of nature...well, IMO, you can do that without putting a human being in it. Just stick some cameras somewhere for awhile and come back and pick them up when it's over with.

    I don't think it's a bad thing that news agencies put people in hurricanes like this. But I do find it silly and I suspect well over 50% of the reason for doing it is for ratings. Also, if journalists are exposing themselves to the full force of the winds to get maximum effect and drama then I hope they're aware of, and have accepted, the risk that just a single small piece of debris (possibly ejected from a structure quite distant) could be enough to severely injure or kill them. With the proliferation of media and live chasing, I suspect it's only a matter of time before we see a news anchor or hurricane chaser maimed or killed live on TV/Periscope/whatever. I hope everyone who watches is prepared to see that (I suspect many are not, though).
     
    #5 Jeff Duda, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 12:25 PM
  6. JamesCaruso

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    That's a great idea, I would love to see them do that with hurricanes even if it's in addition to live reporters. Presumably the cameras could capture more harsh conditions where it may not be safe for a person to be. Maybe the camera gets destroyed or the live feed is lost but it's a risk you take as a cost of doing business. I for one am fascinated when I see storm surge damage, it is so difficult to conceptualize the ocean coming inland like that, you see the aftermath but not the occurrence. I would love to actually see what it looks like for all hell to break loose like that. Maybe mount a camera somewhere that is high enough to not be flooded but still sheltered from the wind and direct contact with rain, same way they put the reporter's cameraman somewhere where he can still film.



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  7. Kevin R Burgess

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    There are only four words that come to mind with journalist,and mother nature.

    Mike Bettis / El Reno :eek:
     
  8. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Exactly - people love seeing storm coverage and on-scene reporters, and suggesting that news groups will stop doing it is just a non-starter. Mike is the perfect example.
     
  9. Shawn Camp

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    OK on this note.

    If it can be reported LIVE They are going to send reporters into harms way !!!!!!!!!!!!!! its the society that we live in today. Get it on film,Get Ratings !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! be FIRST on the Scene to scooooooooooop the other guy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. it is the world we live in.

    Shawn C.

    "Fox 4-Warn StormTracker"

    "Fox4News.com"


    "The NEWS Station FOX 4"
     
  10. Warren Faidley

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    Our changing society has a lot to do with this. It's my own belief that human life (and the value of it) is not appreciated like it once was. Part of this is because of the terrible tragedies we face from terrorists and lone nut-jobs. We are constantly bombarded with visuals of people dying or being seriously injured. Just think of all the tragedies in the just the last two months. Its hard to keep track. So when idiot storm chasers do dumb things, it's seen as entertainment. I think most people care less now days, so doing dumb things really shows a general lack of intelligence and self-worth. The chasers who made a living from goofball antics are rapidly becoming irrelevant.
     
  11. Paul Knightley

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    We all have to remember that there is no news (at least, TV news) without pictures/video. When you're filling hours of news, you need imagery - and whether or not we agree or disagree, this is the reasoning IMO. It's a major story, so they have to cover it - but how do you cover it on TV without pictures? Watch the news and see how many stories don't have at least some visuals. Very few. This isn't to say I agree or disagree about whether it should be done - but the reasoning is fairly straightforward, I think.
     
  12. Kevin R Burgess

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    Here in K.C., we have a News Station who's call letters are,KSHB. When they don't have any video of a tornado to hype,they will get a crayon(black),and draw you a picture of one.
    True Story !
    Christa Dubill,a couple/few years back,who is a News Anchor w/ KSHB channel 41,in K.C.,actually 'drew' a tornado,using a ink pen/crayola,to show the viewers what a tornado "could" look like.
    On that day,if my memory is correct, a tornado hit Orrick Mo. which did not have a condensation cloud that lowered all the way to the ground,so,for her to try to explain what she was saying, she "drew" one,on Live Programming ! ! !
    She was trying to fill in air time for the meteorologist,who had taken a break....
    That was Priceless !
     
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    #12 Kevin R Burgess, Nov 18, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  13. Ethan Lang

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    In my opinion I think there are some circumstances where having a reporter on scene is helpful. Mostly because if people can see the event, say a tornado, on tv, then they will take the warning more seriously. On the other hand I believe that some news networks get I little carried away and put their anchors in a poor situation.
     

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