Some people in Nashville deserve our recognition. Some others need to think long and hard about what they've done. (More on the second group later)
I think I can speak for everyone when I say thank you to our local meteorologists and news teams who worked their tails off around the clock to keep Nashville informed about the Nashville Tornado (and rescue/recovery efforts). We appreciate you being away from your families so you could help keep ours safe. Some of you were even in the storm in your studios (Newschannel 5). You saved lives and we appreciate all you've done.
Let's give them some hand clap emojis and thanks:
FOX17 Katy Morgan - Justin Chambers
Newschannel 5 Lelan Statom - Bree Smith - Henry Rothenberg - Heather Mathis
WSMV TV channel 4 Lisa Spencer - Dan Thomas - Laura Bannon - Cody Murphy - Melanie Layden
WKRN Jared Plushnik - Danielle Breezy
The entire team at @nashvilleseverewx
And anyone else I may have left out.
Here's where I go off the reservation a bit. I'm only speaking for myself.
We need to talk about the business of weather. Broadcasting and electronic media of all types (including my medium) is in the business to make money first. And that's OK. When you're informing people AND making money, that's great. And none of what I'm about to say is addressed to the people above. It goes higher than them.
We have a problem. The sky is not falling all the time.
We need to properly distinguish when it's truly an emergency. Leading up to the tornado, we heard all the weather warning catch phrases and alarming graphics. "Watch out!" "Something might be coming". The problem is that we get those same alarming promos and graphics ALL THE TIME. We don't need visual sirens going off for "a chance of clouds". That's what it feels like.
Speaking to everyday people in the aftermath of the tornado, I kept hearing the same things. "I heard bad weather might be coming, but they say that for everything so I didn't expect what we got...".
Media executives will tell you that weather drives ratings more than anything in tv news. The "sky is always falling" approach is hype for viewers, whether it's warranted or not. People will tune out hype if they're constantly exposed to it. And that's a problem when their safety is at stake.
So I ask you "upper management and programming types" to distinguish between a paper cut and a beheading. Let the meteorologists do their job without the hype you attach to it. Use the superlatives sparingly. That way, when we really need to pay attention, we will.
P.S. I must applaud @nashvilleseverwx. They go out of their way to call it like it is without ever using scare tactics.