WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Talking About the Weather

Jan 6, 2015

The correspondent seen most frequently on the network TV evening newscasts last year was the chief meteorologist for ABC.>The Associated Press reported that in the past five years, the evening newscasts just about doubled the amount of time spent on stories about weather and natural disasters.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said people are attracted to weather-related stories, even if the story has no impact on their lives.  She said that might explain why more of those stories are showing up on the network newscasts.

Weather stories are also popular on local newscasts. Crighton said that’s because the weather impacts the entire audience on the local level.  She said some stations even begin every newscast with a weather report.

Crighton said even though more meteorological stories are showing up on television, the newscasts frequently overlook the biggest weather-related issue: climate change.

Panelist Rich Egger concurred in regard to climate change.  He also said weather stories are especially of interest in the Midwest because the weather seems to change every few minutes.  But he finds it odd that the networks’ evening newscasts are spending so much time on the topic.

Panelist Rich Moreno said it’s inexpensive to produce weather-related stories and those reports are often accompanied by good video, which is why the networks run those stories.  And he concurred with Crighton, pointing out the networks would not devote so much time to the topic if it didn’t prove to be so popular.