Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh, the humanity!

The Pittsburgh television stations' obsessive coverage of "severe weather" might have reached a new low today. Channel 11, WPXI, spent about two minutes on a LIVE REPORT from Stu Brown in the Canonsburb/Southpointe area. Stu stopped just short of giving a complete history of Morganza before providing us with the bottom line: There were no accidents anywhere on any of the interstate highways in Washington County this morning. What the ...! Two minutes, at the very top of the newscast, to tell us that NOTHING HAPPENED!?! This is truly getting out of hand. As my boss and fellow blogger Park Burroughs has said time and again: This is winter. It snows in the winter, and unless it snows a whole lot, it's not really BREAKING NEWS. That's not to say that the O-R hasn't been guilty at times of overdoing it with weather stories. We have. No one hates weather stories more than I. But the TV stations are taking it to uncharted territory. I also could do without a five-minute weather segment on every news program. You don't need to tell me what the weather was like today. I experienced it. Just tell me, briefly, what you THINK the weather might be like for the next couple of days. Beyond that, you don't have any more of an idea than a groundhog yanked out of a hole in a hollow tree.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Tracy J. said...

hear, hear! I get so sick of hearing the weather reports that I hesitate to even watch the news. You would think that snow is a rarity around here. Does the news media know that this is Southwestern PA and not Florida?

February 19, 2008 at 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you remember that in the early 1990s, a storm that the weather loonies dubbed "The Storm of The Century" dumped 25 inches of snow on us. Two months later, we got another 25 inches from a second storm. Had centuries gotten shorter?

February 19, 2008 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I've gotten so disgusted with the amateurish "news" on our local stations here in Richmond, Virginia that I refuse to watch any of the channels.

"We've got big news on the weather. Stay tuned." Commercial break.

Guess what, local news media? During that commercial break, I've already accessed the Web sites of the Weather Channel, NOAA, and a nifty little download called the Weather Bug. So in the time it takes for your station to hawk the latest furniture sale or car deals, I've checked three sources for weather. And they're usually more accurate.

We have a radio station here in town that boasts it is "Your Official Weather Station," with forecasts from...The Weather Channel!

Television news is a joke. So is much of the tripe on the radio. I don't need some blow-dried "suit" or some hair-sprayed bimbo in a "weather center" to tell me a probability of precipitation. These are the idiots who think that "the white stuff" and "precip" are cute terms.

February 23, 2008 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Yes, I hear you about criticism of local news channels and their weather segments. But, there are some of us who construct our daily schedules around the weather. The information is important for eight months of the year for me. Knowing what the weather will be, and what it was (e.g. temperatures, rainfall), is VERY important. Our society has moved from an agrarian culture, a time when knowing the weather was so important. But, some people need the information, even now.

To be sure, there are other places to get much information, such as Internet. My Favorites is laden with various weather sites.

My income and work schedule for much of the year is highly dependent on the daily weather. I am not alone in this regard. Being an amateur meteorologist is part of the business. So, before being too critical of that segment of the newscasts, remember this information is very important to others.

February 25, 2008 at 9:33 AM  

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