Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stay Inside During Storms. Unless You Are a Journalist.

This ia a montage of reporters covering Hurricane Sandy from a CNN story.

I present it to you without comment. But I'm interested in your thoughts.

(FYI ... the video originally posted here was removed from YouTube. This one is quite similar.)


Bob Stewart said...

Two things; These folks ain't got nothing on Jim Cantore and the hat bit was really annoying.

Every time I watch coverage of storms with the reporter out in the mess I just think, "Yeah, storms are wet and windy. So what?"

I'd much rather them analyze infrastructure problems, government response, and maybe talk to people at the shelters than to put someone out in the rain for visual effect. I guess this stuff sells though.

Christian Matozzo said...

I just commented on this same point on the last blog post unknowingly without looking at this one, haha!

Standing outside in the weather to report the weather when viewers can clearly see that it is raining and windy outside (Or they can simply look outside the windows of their own homes, a no-brainer if you ask me) and simply see what the weather conditions are like outside.

So have we become so ingrained into the TV that someone has to stand outside for us and say "Hey look! It's really windy, I can barely stand out here! The water's up to my knees! For the love of God, don't go outside!"

Show us some real devastation dammit! Show us the trees ripped out of the sidewalk, cars flipped over, and the boardwalk washed away. Not some clown newscaster standing outside talking into a microphone and telling us what's happening around him when we can already see it!

It is one of the most annoying and uninformative things about journalism and it makes me can't stand watching the news (Not that I enjoy watching local news really anyway) when there's a major weather report.

Eric Newby said...

I love how no matter how windy it actually is, the mics never pick up the noise.

Anyway, I disagree with Christian. I think that a huge part of covering a storm IS showing the devastation...I don't think news stations focus on their anchors getting blown away by torrential rains. It can make for a somewhat amusing YouTube montage, but this stuff isn't generally highlighted.

Seeing these journalists out in extreme conditions is sometimes risky, and sometimes overly dramatic. It depends on individual reporters, but it is always informative.

Joseph Kalafut said...

I 100% agree with Eric. I understand its raining and I understand its windy. And judging from the other comments, people seem to have a problem with reporters trying to bring us a critical aspect of the storm. These reporters may not be risking their lives, but they are putting themselves in harms way to show us how bad a particular storm is. In Sandy's case, reporters were out ALL NIGHT in the cold, wet, rainy weather. They're doing what they can. Give them some respect.

Jessica Tolmie said...

I would just like to add that journalists being washed away and blown over were broadcast internationally.
Everyone I know back in Australia were biting their nails watching these journalists report on Sandy.
Yes, it is necessary to report the devastation. Is it really necessary for them to go and stand in the middle of the hurricane?
I think they hugely exaggerate what a lot of people actually experienced. Most people would have been inside, at worst dealing without power.

Moumita Ghosh said...

I think that while it is important for us to know how bad a storm is and how much devastation is going to take place, it is not always necessary to have reporters stand in the middle of a dangerous storm and putting their lives at risk just to tell us (especially in the case of Sandy) that it is rainning heavily outside or oh its really windy outside! This is because, just like it was said in the previous comments, we already know that it is windy and rainy outside by just looking out of our window.
Whenever during a storm I would turn on the T.V. and see a reporter standing outside late at night near the shore when it is crazy windy and the conditions outside are really bad, I always thought about how much these reporters had to do and that they were doing everything they can for the sake of their jobs, whereas regular people like us just stayed inside their house in safety during almost the entire storm. They put themselves in danger for their jobs and actually according to that, does a very good job in bringing us the news about these storms and for that I have a lot of respect for these reporters!

Erin Edinger-Turoff said...

I saw some emails from Temple journalism professors who were disappointed with student efforts to get out into the storm and provide coverage of what was going on. At first I was very surprised at the encouragement to involve ourselves in potentially dangerous situations (even though I realize most of Philadelphia wasn't hit too badly by the storm), but then I realized that those writing the emails were being reflective of the real world. If you choose to dedicate yourself to a career that involves an obligation to inform the public and whose first loyalty is to citizens, you will be expected to perform under all circumstances. People rely on news and often take efforts of those who provide it for granted. Journalists who are willing to go to great lengths to uphold their commitment to the field should be highly respected; although this montage is funny at parts, it's reflective of the dedication I think good journalists have for reporting.

Mark Valeriano said...

First off I think it's ridiculous to be standing where the waves are coming up and crashing on them! But as far as standing out where it's raining and windy I think that is fine. Having those waves in the background are fine but definitely not necessary to be standing in the ocean. I think this makes for good news, whose going to listen to a reporter talk about weather with that much enthusiasm and insight when they are just sitting at a desk where it's warm and cozy. Being out in the storm brings the story to life and makes for better interactive news.

Chelsea Ann Rovnan said...

Like many of my classmates, I have to agree (somewhat) that it's a bit ridiculous that we have to have reporters stand outside in harsh conditions in the first place just so people have something to watch. But then again, news teams have to keep in mind that some of their viewers may be skeptical. In other words, some people have the mindset that "seeing is believing." I, personally, love watching as reporters describe the weather around them, not only for the comedic aspect, but also because it gives me a deeper understanding of how rough it actually is outside. Because even though it may not be torrential down-pouring outside my own bedroom window at that particular moment doesn't mean the storm isn't heading in my direction or that it's not raining hard where one of my relatives lives. Having reporters stand outside during terrible storms and hurricanes like Sandy definitely, as Mark pointed out before me, brings the story to life. Unnecessary? Maybe. Entertaining? Yep. Informative? Absolutely.

Kyle Solimeo said...

I also have to agree with most. It is ridiculous to have reporters out in such extreme conditions when everyone knows that the weather is bad. But this is nothing new, and I know that everyone who I was with during the storm, including me only really wanted to see the shots of New Jersey where the real damage was done. I wouldnt say that we wanted to see towns being destroyed for entertainment, but for what ever the reason was, everyone would pay more attention to the shots of water crashing over the boardwalk.
I did think the reporters did a great job covering what they were assigned and most reporters seemed to working for what seemed like two days straight.

Zo√ę Dean said...

I see the value in reporting on the storm to indicate how severe the weather is, what it's doing to people, infrastructure etc. But I don't see the value in the loan reporter standing out there trying to stay standing upright. When there were other people around to interview, (like the scuba diver) it makes more sense. I streamed footage online from the coast during Sandy because there were cameras set up to give you a visual of the conditions. I don't think the visual of a person telling you how bad it is when it's already obvious is really necessary, especially with the technology that's available to keep you updated on the situation. I agree with covering it, as far as interviewing people in shelters, local government officials, first responders etc. When it comes to dangerous situations, that I don't feel as a consumer is very informative to me, the reporter is not only at risk themselves, but so are first responders who may have to help them.

Robert Arciero said...

I believe it is ridiculous to have these reporters out in such weather like that. It does not show much but them looking stupid and getting blown around. I would much rather see them focus on devastation that has occurred wether there are trees down the took out power lines or fell on someones car or house, or if someones house is significantly damaged by the storm. I think thats more important than us watching someone report while getting destroyed by a storm.

Tsega Tesfaye said...

When it comes to a dangerous situation such as a hurricane. I don't think reporters should be risking their lives to tell a story. I know reporting to the citizens is their main priority but their are other ways of reporting it. I think everyone could just look outside their window and see the severity of the storm. I do like watching reporters when they do these live reports but I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.