Stations Improvise to Cover Massive Storm Sandy

Oct 30, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"Local television executives like to say it’s all hands on deck when breaking news such as a lethal hurricane hits, and sometimes that even means the station general manager grabbing a camera and playing photographer for a few hours."

So writes B&C’s Mike Malone in his story "Stations Improvise to Cover Massive Sandy."

Malone continues: "That’s what Craig Jahelka, vice president and general manager at WBOC in Salisbury, Md., did when the station needed someone to haul a camera around Monday morning, with Hurricane Sandy lurking off shore. ‘At times like this,’ he says, ‘everyone’s got to pitch in.’"

The story adds: "Covering such a giant event presents a stiff challenge for station reporters. Within the CBS family, reporters, and equipment, from as far off as Minneapolis and Dallas headed east to pitch in with owned stations in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston. ‘It’s probably the biggest storm we’ve experienced in more than a generation,’ said David Friend, senior VP of news at the CBS owned stations."

The article also reports: "Stations are asking viewers to pitch in with the reporting. WMDT Salisbury (Md.) has 25-30 ‘Weather Watchers’ — local weather aficionados around the market who contribute images and readings. When WNYW New York’s crew heard about the wind-induced crane collapse in Manhattan Monday, vice president news director Dianne Doctor went to Facebook — and promptly found a photo of the structure, posted by a friend who lives down the block from where the incident took place. The role of social media in newsgathering has increased even since Irene, says Doctor. ‘It continues to explode,’ she says. ‘Everyone’s a reporter. It makes our coverage better. The storm is so vast that it’s the only effective way to cover this story.’"

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