Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Weather Hyping

We had snow flurries since Sunday, and it looks like the local TV stations are doing their best to hype up the Winter Weather forecasts. Here are some tricks I saw this evening watching TV and the local news:

  • Multi-day accumulation totals - if the accumulation amount for one day is too small, provide an accumulation today for more than one day. This increases the accumulation total, but you have to remember it is spread over several days, not one day.
  • 30 second commercial teasers - always play 30 second teaser commercials hinting at impending doom, school closings, etc, but don't really tell the whole story yet. Tell the viewer they have to wait for the next scheduled newscast.
  • Live report from the snowiest place in the area outside of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County. If the snow forecast for Allegheny County is too small, have a reporter travel outside of Allegheny County (at least an hour drive) and broadcast a live report of the "horrible" conditions.
  • Report accumulation totals from an untreated surface like an empty parking lot - To make it look worse than it really is, have the live broadcast with a reporter showing the accumulation total from an untreated surface like an empty parking lot. An untreated surface will have more snow that a treated, well traveled road.

Hyping up the winter weather is one of my pet peeves with the local media. Just think how bad it will be when a real snow storm hits.

1 comment:

Rhea said...

I am in Boston. No snow yet. I like biking a lot and it's a shame that I can bike just about four or five months out of the year. I am a wimp and don't want to go on the bike in the cold.