Wednesday, September 21, 2005

HURRICANE RITA COVERAGE

Hurricane Rita is now Category 5 and is now the third strongest hurricane ever recorded. Worse than Katrina?! I didn't think it could be possible.

Some more stations in Houston are streaming live including the CBS station www.khou.com.

In Corpus Christi, www.kristv.com is planning to stream its news broadcasts as soon as they start wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. KHOU in Houston is not quite wall-to-wall yet but they do have expanded newscasts and are breaking into regular programming to let people know what's happening. They have an expanded newscast going on as I speak and I expect them to be wall-to-wall by tomorrow night.

Right now the coverage consists mainly of weather guys tracking the Doppler radar and showing shots of the hurricane from outer space, making dire predictions about the storm track. They're showing lots of live camera shots of heavy traffic on the highways with people evacuating. Lots of stories being done about people boarding up and leaving, plus the usual long lines at the gas pumps. This is the exact same thing we saw with the New Orleans newscasts before Katrina destroyed the city: lots of lineups-at-gas-pumps stories. And it's a lot different from the Miami coverage of Rita. In Miami, hurricane coverage features a lot of live press conferences at the National Hurricane Center, and live shots of reporters braving the elements while looking at the waves crash on the beach. But in the Houston coverage we are witnessing fear and a mad scramble to get out.

It's fun to cover hurricanes when they're Category 1. But when they're Cat 5 it's a scary proposition.

1 comment:

kalisekj said...
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