I feel badly for people working at local news stations whenever there is a big snow storm, like today. Not only do they get trucked out to nondescript locations by the highways for work, they have to blabber on for hours about how bad the weather is.
“Earlier today it was ankle deep, but now it’s shin deep,” mused the bubbly blond Channel 7 storm reporter stuck on Parker Road and I-225.
I should now tell you that this is not really necessary, but in small doses it’s OK and even mildly entertaining. The real problem starts when you’re stuck at home with not much else to do so you get drawn into the coverage, and about half an hour in you start to notice how hard it is for them to keep saying “It’s snowing and will continue to do so” and put a slightly different twist on it each time.
Here are my observations on how to vary the story:
- Break-aways to unfortunate junior reporters in the field
- Photos of accidents
- Wind speed, anecdotal or measured
- Snow depth, again anecdotal or measured
- Viewer photos of snow covered patios
- Telephone conversations with the Department of Transportation (in Colorado this is CDOT)
And it’s not their fault – what if you’ve just tuned in? In this case, you can’t blame the media but you have to blame yourself for tuning in longer than ten minutes. It’s just not necessary!