Sunday, August 28, 2005

Best, Best Wishes...

...To everyone assigned to stick around and report and shoot and edit on this Hurricane Katrina about to hit land in Louisiana. TV, radio and print.

I got an email tonight about Jeff Baskin, KOIN's new weatherman, who was leaving the Fox station in New Orleans to come to Portland. Tonight was supposed to be his final night on the air at WVUE. For obvious reasons, his old station needs every meteorologist it can get its hands on, so his start in Portland is delayed.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been watching WDSU on the web all weekend. Struck by the seriousness of the politicians and disaster workers and the flippancy of some of the anchors.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger pdx_photoman said...

IMHO, CNN did a terrific job of covereage. Rob Marciano was in the thick of it, operating as a beat reporter. He seemed to be having a hell of a good time, despite the danger and discomfort. Having covered three blows in Florida, it took me back.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous John Ray said...

Got this from Charles Zewe, the former CNN reporter and anchor. We worked together in New Orleans a while back.


Thanks for your prayers. For a moment or two, I had plans to ride this storm out too. But with a wife, son, and his fiance to think of, I decided we needed to get out. As a result, I writing this from the home of sons fiance in Longview, Texas, watching network reports from the city. Most have been fairly straight forward. Some have been idiotic such as the NBC reporter who was talking about floating caskets and a toxic cespool across the entire city.

Living only three blocks from the lake, made the decision to evacuate easy. It took us about 10 hours to make what is normally a five hour drive. Getting out, however, was the right decision. We secured the house as best we could and then left, knowing that we may never see the house again.

When you cover these beasts, as you well know, you tend to depersonalize the damage and the destruction---it's somebody else's tragedy. When it's your own house and your own family, it's a different story. Being faced with "The Big One" leaves you with some clear, obvious choices.

I suspect we'll have a lot of damage to deal with when we get home.

Again, thanks for the prayers and keep in touch.


Monday, August 29, 2005 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be very interesting when one of these jokers standing out in the wind gets his or her head cut off by a piece of rocketing sheet metal - live. I wonder if then will be the time the powers that be have the sense to let the pictures do the talking.

Then again it could make for "good tv", job opening!

Monday, August 29, 2005 4:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Silly Idealist said...

Speaking of weather emergencies, I have a question for you broadcast people. I was listening to OPB (91.5 FM) in the car this afternoon and heard an emergency alert service message about a flash flood warning in effect for parts of Multnomah county. It was kinda long and I wasn't anywhere near the affected area, so I had a chance to switch around and listen for the message on other stations. I didn't come across any other stations running it just then.

I had always presumed that the EAS messages were broadcast simultaneously on all stations in an area, and that it was mandatory for all stations in the affected area to carry them. Apparently that's not the case. So, what's the deal? Are the EAS alerts optional? Can they be time-shifted?

Monday, August 29, 2005 4:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"""I wonder if then will be the time the powers that be have the sense to let the pictures do the talking."""
Who do you think gets those pictures for you... a robot?
Again, someone without a clue about television has an inane comment about coverage.

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous gnossos said...

These situations are always a good reminder that the really hard work is being done by the camera and sound folks. I am disappointed, however, that so far nobody has shown us what a skateboarder could do with a 100 mph wind at his back - now that would be entertainment!

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

inane comment..

Photogs are expendable. Cost alot less too...

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may seem inane, but what's the point of this thread?

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox finally got theirs:
Fox News Hurricane Katrina coverage this morning:

Shepard Smith: You’re live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing?

Man: Walking my dogs.

Smith: Why are you still here? I’m just curious.

Man: None of your fucking business.

Smith: Oh that was a good answer, wasn’t it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that CNN's John Zarella has done the best work...
by far.

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OPB is the official Emergency Alert System station. All alerts pass through OPB - and simultaneously on to all other stations that choose to carry them.

Each station has a different set up on whether to instantly interrupt programming and take the report "live" or to listen to it and disseminate it on their own.

The EAS system seems to leave great amounts of discretoin up to each broadcaster -- which probably means far fewer listeners are actually served. We know how few stations actually carry those alerts.

Kudos to OPB for always carrying them!

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The EAS system is horribly broken in Oregon. At my station, we get some alerts but not others. We get tests all the time, but not all tests are labeled as such.

Oregon's Amber Alert system is even worse. Most alerts come to the station as "There's an amber alert, tune to local TV or radio for more."

No shit--we are local TV, and we have no idea what the hell happened! Calls to agencies that are supposed to know about these things (like OSP) are usually greeted with a "we have no idea what's going on, call the local police." Calls to that local agency are usually unanswered, because they're too busy searching for some kid taken by a parent in a domestic dispute, which shouldn't qualify for an Amber Alert in the first place!

Someone (are you listening, Willy Week?) needs to do a story on just how useless the Amber Alert system is here, because the TV stations aren't about to do that story on their own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandra Mims Rowe distributed this note to the Oregonian staff at about 4:30 pm on Tuesday, FYI

(remember that the NO Times-Picayune is, like the Oregonian, a Newhouse paper):

I talked to Jim Amoss, editor of the NO Times Picayune, several hours ago when he reached Houma, La., newsroom. From there the editing crew was going to Baton Rouge, where they will continue to publish online, mostly via sending stories to Newhouse News Service by e-mail.
He said that the national media wasn't even coming close to grasping the scope of the story. The city is utterly, utterly devastated and uninhabitable.
They evacuated the newspaper building late this morning loading about 300 employees into delivery trucks and heading southwest. Most of those employees do not know if their homes survived, and Jim said many certainly did not. He assumes his is among those. As you have heard, to add to the pain, the looting in the city in increasing.
When the newspaper employees left the city, they were told it might be several weeks before they could return. Meanwhile, the journalists staying in NO are trying to do their jobs without the ability to move around much and with intermittent and difficult communications.
It's horrifying and humbling thinking of what so many communities and individuals, including our colleagues, are going through now and will have to endure in the weeks ahead. We have offered our help and resources to assist at any time and in any way, but right now there is nothing we can do from here. That will change as they get a better handle on the scope of this and have greater ability to move. It could be days or weeks before they can publish on newsprint or deliver -- and at least that long before people are back in the city.
Keep them in your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 6:32:00 PM  
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