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Blanket Coverage Of Hurricanes Smothers Other News, Also Proves Merits Of Newspapers

September 11, 2017

I fully understand the enormity and varying news spokes to the phenomenal weather-maker known as Hurricane Irma.  As a follower of weather the meteorological aspects to this story were nothing short of breath-taking and stunning.  The need to report this story in a fashion that allows for more time on the news channels and the placement of reporters in a multitude of locals also is not in question.  But only up to a point.

But to use every single minute of every hour–day after day– to report that the winds are blowing and the ocean an angry body of water does not make for more informed viewers.  It simply seemed that Irma was nothing short of an entertainment show for some all-news channels.  Just another aimless reality show.

This morning as I scanned the channels for anything other than Irma a man was being interviewed as he and the reporter stood among palm trees leaning to and fro.   “Never seen anything like this” was the bulk of the news from the nearly two minute segment.  WOW.

Meanwhile the world spins and news from all over the restless globe is being made–but never getting one single sentence of coverage on ‘all-news’ channels in America.

The big names of the news business were in Florida and by-God they were going to report the only story some executive felt was headline worthy.   I truly think Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes, as he stood in Naples on Sunday, had the credentials for covering the story.  After all science is the story.  Most of the others had no background from which to really report with any substance.

But there was CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who was in Miami Beach Friday but made his way to Fort Myers to co-anchor with Chris Cuomo, who was on Florida’s East Coast.  Not to be outdone ABC aired a special edition of 20/20 Sunday night.   George Stephanopoulos and Elizabeth Vargas anchored from New York with David Muir in Naples.  NBC News broadcast special reports anchored by Lester Holt throughout the day Saturday from Miami, including a special report during half-time of the Georgia/Notre Dame game.  Then on Sunday morning, beginning at 6 A.M. Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie anchored a special edition of the Today show.   Even FAUX News got into the running for breathless coverage as they sent Bill Hemmer to anchor coverage from Miami Sunday.

While it is very true–and I am very supportive–of local stations going wall-to-wall with weather events as it allows for news and information to be broadcast to those in most need of such communications, I am not sure how that same type of continuous coverage is the best use of airtime for people in Portland, Oregon or Madison, Wisconsin when it comes to the national all-news channels.

There was a horrific 8.2 earthquake in Mexico, The Pope was in Columbia, and at a time when war threats surround portions of Southeast Asia the 69th Anniversary of North Korea’s ruling family took place this weekend.

I do not wish to downplay the significance of Irma or the need to understand the climate changes which are at play around the world, but all-news channels must be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.  There is no way that only one story can be covered at a time.

All I can say is THANK GOD FOR DAILY NEWSPAPERS which proves that many stories can be included in one place!

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