Monday, September 11, 2017


The New York Times reports on the television-news practice of standing in a storm to report on it. I think we need a word to describe this commodification of horrific weather into televised spectacle. My suggestion: stornography. Or storn, for short.

I still remember (1990s?) an unfortunately hilarious CBS Evening News broadcast with Dan Rather standing in a storm somewhere, hanging on to a lamppost or street sign and trying to talk as the wind blew rain into his face. I didn’t know though that, as the Times reports, Rather originated this kind of reporting in 1961.


September 14: The word may be catching on.

comments: 3

Geo-B said...

I have frequently made fun of those poor reporters hanging on in gale force winds (although in a week, my daughter begins her job as a television news photographer). My son evacuated from Miami to Sarasota on Tuesday, which didn't seem near enough north for us, but we were Ok with it, until Friday evening when the storm veered westward to the Gulf Coast. It seemed the storm was aiming at him, so we watched Weather Channel non-stop Saturday and Sunday, scaring ourselves silly. However, as the storm moved north, it veered inland and he escaped the worst, and is fine. Those poor saturated newspersons standing outside in the wind and rain at Naples and Ft. Myers reassured me.

Slywy said...

One of my favorite weather report videos.

Elaine said...

It is never helpful, in my view, for people to put themselves into dangerous situations (from which they may need rescue) when there are people much more in need of care, help, attention, etc. Yesterday NPR broadcast an interview with a middle-school vice principal in Naples where a shelter had opened; he said, "I have no intel about damage or anything. This is the first phone call I've been able to make." (Or maybe it was "take." Communications had been interrupted at the height of the storm. I guess it's nice to have reassurance if you are far away and have loved ones in harm's way, but shouldn't good sense come into play?