This morning I saw a reporter on one national news network standing on the beach in the hurricane in his red jacket screaming into his microphone with another reporter in a read jacket standing right behind him doing the same thing.
The camera person with the first reporter was doing their darndest to keep the reporter from the other network out of the shot, but you could still hear the other reporter screaming over the wind.
This is news? We watch this entertainment and advertisers pay higher rates because viewership is up? Absolutely nuts.
…[T]he predictable and numbing repetition, alarmism, and idiocy that is TV. Of course, the storm is serious but the coverage is often laughable and, some would argue, a matter of crying wolf. The inefficiency of the coverage is also boggling: crews everywhere, all shooting the same wind and water, yet saying nothing new.
Jarvis points out there are many new, more efficient, and more informative sources of real hurricane news than that on television.
- Given the opportunity, witnesses can also provide much more detail. They already do in videos run at CNN’s iReport.
- Talking Points Memo points to a bunch of outage maps from power companies.
- There is much information available directly from governments and their agencies. New York City’s 311 service and site give updates and resources and we can watch the mayor directly on the net. Jen Preston at The New York Times compiled an impressive list of officials using social media to get their messages out. The Wall Street Journal visualized evacuation centers using Foursquare.
- Much of the most important information — the forecast — comes from the same sources, such as NOAA and its hurricane center.
What could journalists do to add value per Jarvis?
Journalists don’t add value by repeating themselves endlessly, by standing in front of random but ultimately uninformative sites where their cameras and trucks happen to be set up (or worse, in the water), by alarming more than informing people.
…[T]hey should aggregate and curate reports from witnesses and data from officials. They can visualize data. They provide background and service information. (emphasis added)
There’s a lesson here for blogging lawyers and traditional journalists who cover the law. There’s a lesson for LXBN (LexBlog Network) as well.
Given the opportunity, lawyers can provide more information, insight, and detail on legal news and developments than journalists. Journalists are stretched thin. No fault of their own, that though they may write better journalists do not know the law as well as lawyers.
Journalists and networks can aggregate and curate reports and insight from blogging lawyers. Journalists and Networks can build relationships with blogging lawyers. Relationships that result in reporters and networks sharing with blogging lawyers the stories that could be covered by lawyers in their blogs.
Look at the interaction of law bloggers and journalists already. Look at the New York Times’ story this morning on menacing posts on Twitter testing the limits of free speech by Somini Sengupta (@SominiSengupta).
The subject of the Times story ought to be fed to even more blogging lawyers for their insight and commentary by legal networks such as LXBN and Law.com. LXBN and Law.com could then aggregate and curate such insight and commentary and generate more discussion across Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like.
This same philosophy of blogging lawyers and journalists could be taken to Main Street USA so we get better localized legal coverage. Niche areas of the law and niche industry legal issues could be covered nationally in the same way
The advent of blogging and social media provides some wonderful opportunities for legal reporting and insight. Let’s not go the way of the ‘Red Jackets’ on the beach playing hurricane hallapalooza.
Also discuss this post at Google Plus.