Beyond ‘Stormwatch’: Better Ways to Cover the Weather

P.J Bednarski, in B&C recently pointed out all the dumb ways we covered weather on local television. His examples came from watching coverage during a recent storm.

Tree down on Beresford Way; only one of the storm casualties
Tree down on Beresford Way; only one of the storm casualties

Benasrski said:

Here are the ones I saw on Stormwatch—again—that I think should be retired:

  • Talking to one disgruntled and one still-cheerful passenger at the snowed-in airport
  • Going to a hardware store to document the lack of snow shovels
  • Leaning into a car going nowhere and asking how bad the road conditions are
  • Interviewing Christmas shoppers while the equivalent of a jet turbine blows snow in their faces.
  • Skipping the middleman and being the station’s snow guinea pig, but this time, you have the yardstick
  • Talking to the sanitation chief about the city’s supply of rock salt and available drivers.
  • And don’t forget this chestnut: Watching kids sled or build a snowman
  • Truthfully, if stations want to save some money this year, I suggest this: Use file footage. One car from 2008 skidding into a guardrail is not much different than the car that did the same dance in 2004. You’re not actually documenting an accident. You’re illustrating a condition.
  • Kids have shoveled out neighborhood cars for years. You spent a fortune on archival capacity for your newsroom. And you did this story in 2006 Use it again. Just edit out the reporter you have since laid off.

So what is the craziest thing you saw?  Anyone have any great ideas to improve?


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