Thursday, January 02, 2014
Drums are beating along the Eastern seaboard -- major winter storm. It might even drop eight inches, an easily shoveled amount. The media use the weather story as an alternative to reporting serious news. Reporters stand in the snow and breathe heavily about conditions. There are the inevitable pictures of cars with tires spinning and stuck, of heavily layered people talking about how awful it is, of children sliding down hills. While these stories have human interest, they are hardly news. One wonders what a real winter would be like on the East Coast. We might get no news at all. It is a measure of press laziness that so much emphasis is placed on storm reporting when the event is hardly worth mentioning. Millions of dollars of forecasting and tracking equipment are thrown at the clouds with computer-generated weather maps and radar. What could the media do if the money was repurposed into serious stories?