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.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  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 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).
     
  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.
     

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