I’ve been watching hours of coverage of Hurricane Katrina and I’ve seen dozens of reporters acting foolish on live or taped tv in 100 mph winds. Did you see the one with Brian Andrews from WWL? He was the one running out into the high winds as his photog rolled. He crouched behind a mailbox like he was on the frontlines in Iraq. And then, just after he signed off with CNN, the wind knocked him on his face.
I’ve heard people and tv critics criticize these reporters as showboating. I’ve heard anchors say “once somebody gets their head cut off on live tv by a piece of debris, these types of liveshots will stop.”
You know what? They’re wrong. The cold fact is there will always be a reporter willing and ready to go into the storm and there will always be a public wanting to watch. If anything is going to change, it’s going to get only more exciting.
Those kids on jackass (MTV show) would love to jump on a private plane to jump in front of an approaching storm. They’d be jumping from the rooftops into the storm surge or skateboarding atop the Superdome.
And the sad truth is people would watch. And if people would watch, some network may try to get even more daring with it’s people.
The best interview I’ve seen so far was by the WKRG reporter who found a man who lost his wife in the storm. It’s been on CNN and FOX tonight. The storm victim cried as he described not being able to hold onto his wife and her telling him to take care of the kids. The reporter, I think it was Jennifer Mayerle, wiped away her own tears.