Hyping Disaster

It was hard for me to believe that  television news outlets were being so hysterical when reporting on Hurricane Irene.   When something is exciting all a reporter has to do is report what is happening, he or she doesn’t have to make it exciting.  As I watched one report I thought, well, that focuses the problem quite well. The reporter was almost apologizing because the wind was not howling when she was on camera.  She even said that it had been strong before the anchors cut to  her, but it seemed every time they did, there was a calm.  In other words, she knew that she wasn’t delivering on the hype that preceded her report and felt she needed to explain.

Yes, the hurricane took lives and caused a lot of damage and the flooding is still causing damage, but reporters shouting to the tops of their lungs and doing everything  they could to make their reports exciting was an embarrassment to broadcast journalism.  I have had people tell me over the years that they liked getting their  news from someone was calm in the face of disasters or pending disasters. Guess the news folks of today don’t view it that way.

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One Response to “Hyping Disaster”

  1. Kurt Says:

    Good observations, Dick. Keeping calm in serious weather situations is welcomed by the audience and it fosters credibility with viewers. One can use the voice to convey a higher level of urgency without resorting to hype and hysteria.

    I’ve tried to live by that rule over years of delivering weather information to the public. I can get excited as anyone about weather, but hope I’ve never gone “over the top”. It’s not professional and not good broadcasting.

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