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TV Networks – Get Your Reporters Out Of Harm’s Way [Opinion]

Hurricane Hugo Slams Into Puerto Rico
Gary Williams/Getty Images

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been as advertised. It was supposed to be an above average season, it has been. It was supposed to be a season with stronger storms, it has been. It’s only half way over and there is still one issue with coverage of these monster storms that bothers me tremendously.

Why do the networks value¬†ratings over life? This past weekend with Hurricane Irma and a few weekends back with Hurricane Harvey there were countless feeds of fearless reporters bracing against the wind to tell us the obvious. We get it. It’s a hurricane. The wind blows.

Comedian Ron White has a great bit about hurricanes and the wind blowin’. ¬†Ron’s concern is my concern. It’s not that the wind is blowing it’s what the wind is blowing. I can only imagine the outrage there will be when an errant stop sign blown by the wind slices off a reporters head on live television.

I understand that putting a reporter in harm’s way makes for compelling TV. Dan Rather started all of that nonsense in 1961 and now it’s just gotten worse. I do appreciate the passion that these reporters and news organizations have for bringing the story to the people. I don’t think becoming a part of the story is what would be defined as “good journalism”.

So, for all of my media friends that do their job in gusty winds and standing knee deep in flood water holding high voltage electrical equipment I wish you the best. I hope you will use common sense and be willing to say “NO” when you’re asked by some producer in a warm and protected studio to do something stupid.

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