Sometimes it happens, even to the nice people like me.
The storm cells that ran through Brisbane were shocking – massive winds, an incredible amount of rain dumped in a very short period of time – and lots of people were affected. It was a news field day. All evening news bulletins in South East Queensland lead with the story, and then followed it up within their weather segment. The more interesting thing was how differently the three commercial channels handled the story.
Channel 7 lead with it, and even had a reporter go above and beyond reporting to camera in the midst of the downpour. But that was it. Their Twitter account was near silent in the lead up & they did their own thing. Bit disappointing, really.
Channel 10 news were also pretty silent during the afternoon – but did have some decent coverage on their bulletin. Again, nothing really special. The 7pm Project did contact me to ask to use my lightening pic, and were intending to until their show got full of other things (but they also lead with vision of the storm and the aftermath as well).
Channel 9, by comparison, had their news Twitter account dropping updates all afternoon, being led by Sylvia Jeffreys (who is filling in as the weather presenter during the summer break). Sylvia was canvassing for pics, updates, as well as delivering BOM updates via Twitter as soon as they were released. A real newshound, Sylvia’s thrown herself into the role and delivering strongly well more than just “the pretty weather girl at the end of the bulletin”. As you will have seen from the title image, the above pic even scored a showing on the news as a part of their round up – my 2 seconds of fame.
New media vs old media, and the integration of the two, will remain a dichotomy for some time. Well done to Channel 9 (and, to a lesser degree, Channel 10) for their efforts in embracing new and social mediums to seek leads, to source content and news, and to disseminate information. A timely tweet or facebook in the afternoon absolutely will impact where my news viewing will be directed that afternoon (to a 4:30pm bulletin, if I’m near a camera) or at 6pm for sure.
The battle for News viewer across the demographic (which traditionally skews older) in SE Qld is hotting up – and strategies like this from Channel 9 will pay off (as they have been starting to in this off-ratings season already). Bring on 2011.
All images take on my iPhone 4. Not bad, huh.