The Jolly Librarian Makes a Modest Snow Proposal for Reporters

For us Southerners, snow is a novelty, I will grant you that. So it is exciting the few times a year that it covers the ground, students get a holiday, and the rest of us must battle the roads to get to work. It is a newsworthy event.

But perhaps it’s because we’ve had more snow than usual this winter. Perhaps it’s because driving in snow does not bring out my jollier side. Perhaps it’s just because I’m older and just don’t want to waste minutes on the same story week after week. But I have lost patience with all the local news stations’ reporting of our inclement weather. So I’m asking all local news to consider the following during bad weather:

  1. Please do not tell us how bad the roads are from the studio and then show pictures of cars merrily zipping along the roads. Talk to the guy reporting on the street before making general statements. As a corollary, we don’t need to see pictures of clear streets. A general statement that “main roads are good” will suffice.
  2. No more reporters in grocery stores showing pictures of empty bread and milk aisles. Truly, it has been overdone. We get it. We Southerners like our milk and bread during snowstorms. Perhaps if you must, report on why we gravitate to those two items. Otherwise, let’s agree that this is not news.
  3. No more reporters with their portable thermometers taking the temperature of the streets, the roads, or a cup of hot chocolate in their hands. Once again, if there is snow on the road and the temperatures are falling, we get it. It’s cold out there.
  4.  If the weather is truly bad, then don’t use teasers. No “Will your morning commute be treacherous in the morning? Find out at 10.” I know you need the ratings, but your primary purpose is to inform. Just say it. Here in the South, if you say it’s going to be bad, we’re going to stay tuned anyway. Count on it.
  5. And no more man-on-the-street interviews of people who have slid on the ice. After watching these for a month now on various channels, I realize there are really on about 2-3 ways of describing a car sliding. And you’ve described them them all. Over and over and over.

Sure, when there was only a snow every two or three years, you could get away with stalking bread shoppers in Kroger or measuring the heat of your cup coffee amidst a snow drift. But, come on, this is our 4th snow in a month. It’s time to get a hold of yourselves.


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