Monday, February 15, 2010

The Big Story? It Snowed. No Kidding?

SOME LOCAL NEWS stations broadcast weather reports for more than ten hours per day during the snow storm last week. The newspapers were full of stories and images of the snow. Was it too much?

6ABC reported that over a two day period, they received more than 5 million page views on their website. They credited their audience submitted images (snowtographs) as a major attraction. More than 10,000 images were submitted to the site.

Is weather so important that it should dominate the news? Or is this all just a ratings grab in the middle of the winter sweeps period?

15 comments:

Pseudo said...

I think its a little bit of both.
This is one of the biggest snowstorms the Northeast has seen in years so the news will play it up knowing people will watch in order to stay informed on whats going on just outside their doors.
The rarity of the snow storm made it newsworthy and the news took advantage of this by presenting interested viewers with the opportunity to participate.

Brian Okum said...

Snowed indoors, I know I scanned through news channels a lot looking for updates and stuff.

Yes, there was way too much repetition. Too much "here is a picture of Kelly in the snow." And too much info we already knew. It was pretty lousy.

The media makes mistakes, capitalizing on anything. The weather is important, but it clearly became quantity over quality.

Craig said...

I think it makes sense thatthey would focus on the snow. It's a story that everyone is effected by and wanted information on. Philly hasn't had such a huge blizzard in years. It was nice not hearing all the traditional depressing news stories for a day or two.

melanieroxanne said...

Everyone knows that it's a major snow storm. And people everywhere should know what's going on in different areas. But there was too many repetition about it that no one knows what else is going besides the storm.

Dan P. said...

This was the most snow Philadelphia has ever gotten in one winter, so I think it deserves significant attention. It's better than turning on the news and seeing a report on a murder, then a fire, then a robbery...

Berryman, A said...

I think it makes sense that the news stations focused ont he snow. This was the most snow Philadelphia has recieved and it affected a lot of people. But at the sametime it was also a little unnecessary for all of the photographs and comments because at a certain point, everyone knew about the snow.

Anonymous said...

I think the snow still fascinates people in the same way a major calamity or natural disaster does (ie. torrential downpour)--- but as a substance is still somehow beautiful and dangerous at the same time. (also fun and dangerous, like the olympics.) but I generally agree with Craig. I like to see some serious air in those sledding pix!

Luis Crespo said...

I was stuck inside, and I watched a lot of the coverage. After a bit, it got repetitive, so I watched other things, but I went back later at night.

There are certain parts to the storm that deserve coverage. If officials are giving a briefing, it's good to know what they're saying. It's good to check in on the transit agencies and utilites and such, but only when there's fresh, important information to share. If a state of emergency is declared (as in Delaware, where it was illegal for most people to drive), people need to know that. Talking to gamblers in Atlantic City or Home Depot workers in Delaware is off the wall.

Now, if the storm is on a weekend, for example, when the stations are airing cartoons and infomercials, it's better to air the coverage.

And not all storms happen during sweeps -- but you'll still see nonstop coverage.

Geo said...

Weather coverage instead of cartoons? Blasphemy. Pure blasphemy.

- George
(the teacher who would watch Loony Toons over Hurricane Schwartz any day of the week)

Rachel M. Stumpo said...

The news went a little overboard. It's fine for a feature, but it got old quick. Leave the snow to Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz <3, and get back to the news.

alessandralaura said...

The news was definitely a little repetitive but I don't think that playing the same story over and over was necessarily their idea to get ratings grab, if anything ratings would soar because people were stuck at home watching to see when they could finally get in their cars again. Either way, they should shown a little more variety.

Sam Kelly said...

Too much snow. Not enough news.

I think the snow was a bit repetitive and dominated the news a little more than I would have liked. I think that even though it was a huge snowstorm, there were other things that had to have been missed since all the on-location reporters were standing around in knee-high snow! Hmph.

Heather Flanagan said...

I agree that it was a little much with all the snow reports. However, when I was stuck in my apartment because of the snow I found myself constantly checking the news online as well as on TV to see what the latest news on the snow was. Obviously I wasn't the only one doing this according to the numbers of the website, so apparently the snowstorm was what the viewers wanted to hear about.

Gillian Francella said...

The snow was a historical event, therefore I'm okay with excess coverage.

Francisco Ovalle said...

it was all too much, it was everywhere... i hateee snow, why make a bid deal out of it? DEFINITELY ratings. historical event? ummm maybe, but it sure was a disaster :p