Monday, September 5, 2016

"Everyone Knows What's Ahead ..."



Did the media scare you away from the beach over the Labor Day weekend with their talk about the pending storm?

Here's what a meteorologist wrote on Saturday for philly.com:

My advice: Stay home if you’re already inland. If you must go to the shore, plan on coming back tonight at the latest. And tell your friends and relatives the same thing (which I have done to my friends and relatives). If you live at the shore, be prepared to “hunker down” for a few days-perhaps without power, and perhaps cut off by flooded roads. And take everything off balconies, porches, and lawns and bring it inside.

And yet, area beaches were unscathed by Tropical Storm Hermine.

So, did the media mess up? Did they hype up the storm because that draws eyeballs to their newscasts and stories?

Or, were they simply reporting the information - including the governor declaring a state of emergency for several counties - that they had?

8 comments:

Christine Quach said...

I don't believe that the media messed up. Weather forecasts are meant to be predictions, and anything could change in the blink of an eye. While the media is losing credibility by exaggerating the storm, it's better that everyone was well prepared. People could've been hurt if the storm had become dangerous without proper warnings and precautions. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Lauren Hillegas said...

The media is dependent on its audience. I think that because of this it had a job to do and that was to report what they had predictions for. Granted they may have went a little overboard, but this isn't the first time the weather forecast has been incorrect. As a service to the general public, I think that they did a fine job communicating the information that they believed to be true to those it was supposed to affect. However, I do not think that this was some elaborate ploy to gain more viewers and grow their audience, but an error in weather forecasting.

Teresa Sayers said...

In this situation I feel that the saying “better to be safe than sorry,” takes effect. If the media did not do anything to warn the people about the possibilities of a storm, they would have gotten ridiculed.
Yes, they did blow it out of proportion, and nothing happened. But, what if something would have happened? It is a chance that the media takes with every story.
And, because of Hurricane Sandy a couple years ago, it also helped to up the station’s views.
In the end, they were wrong. But, if the storm would have been as bad as they thought it would be, they would not have gotten ridiculed for doing nothing.

Zach Kocis said...

If the storm had been as bad as had been forecasted, the news stations and meteorologists would have been praised for their accurate coverage of the weather event. This time, they got it wrong. Although the media designated a large amount of airtime to coverage of this impending storm (and may have overhyped the severity of the hurricane due to the chatter surrounding it), they were responsible for communicating their information to the public. It is their responsibility to inform the public of news like this. Fortunately, the hurricane didn't have much effect. If it had, the public would have been adequately prepared because of being informed about it due to the amount of coverage. The public shouldn't blame the media because they were doing their jobs, and if they were hesitant over the severity of the storm, they should be viewing the media with a healthy dose of skepticism. Part of the public's responsibility is to absorb the information being transmitted and make your own conclusions based on that.

Siani Colon said...

I don’t believe in this instance they messed up. When it comes to meteorology, it’s based on predictions. The weather continues to change and sometimes the prediction is right, other times it’s wrong. The reporters weren’t being overdramatic and scare people so bad that they’re glued to that station for more information. It was a situation that appeared concerning and they presented that information as it needed to be. I remember when Hurricane Irene happened, it didn’t turn out to be as bad as everyone thought. Because of that experience, people were skeptical the following year about Hurricane Sandy and some didn’t heed the warnings because they believed the predictions were overreactions. In the end, Hurricane Sandy left severe damage along the east coast. It’s best to be prepared for a storm even if it didn’t turn out to be bad, rather than brushing it off and later suffering the consequences.

Lisa Cunningham said...

In this specific situation, I do not believe that the meteorologists did anything wrong. They definitely did create a sense of fear in the people that live in or around the area, but reasonably so. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Unfortunately, the weather is not always predictable. If situation was reversed and the meteorologists predicted nothing, people would be angry at them. It is better for the media to be aware of the possibilities and warn the public of them.

Walter Kirby said...

Weather is a prediction and there is almost no way to properly tell what is going to occur in advance. However, the media in ways did blow this out of proportion. Instead of scaring people and telling them how terrible a hurricane could be, journalists should show people how to deal with those hurricanes. Trying to cover a possible major event like this in advance should be done to help the surrounding people. But some media outlets take advantage of situations like this to bring in viewers and keep them drawn in throughout the process for updates. That is unacceptable and unethical. Those who try and take advantage of people's nervousness are producing news that is actually harmful in ways instead of helpful. News is supposed to be informative and helpful; it is not supposed to be harmful. So if news outlets blew this out of proportion to try and help people, they were doing a good deed and producing good journalism. But if news outlets did this to bring in viewers, they are producing very, very poor journalism.

Emma Connolly said...

As someone who's town, friends and family were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy, I don't think the media is at fault here. I live in Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the destruction Sandy caused is still being repaired. I think the media was just trying to be more safe than sorry. The weather can be very unpredictable at times as most everyone knows, but the media is not always to blame for that. I think the media was mostly trying to look out for the safety of the people.