Sorry! You couldn't pay me enough

Saturday, September 13, 2008

By: Liz Tjaden

Heavy rains and strong winds will not scare some brave journalists from getting the story. Hurricane Ike is sweeping across the southern coast of the United States and is also affecting other parts of the country. Many people have been evacuated from their homes and Ike has created massive flooding and damage.

Thank you for throwing your reporters into the middle of the action so I, a girl from Iowa who is hundreds of miles away, can feel like I’m right there too! has a lot of videos posted on their Web site from reporters to the average Joe taking pictures with his camera phone. There is such a wide variety of videos from streets flooded out, homes destroyed by falling branches and from my personal favorite, what I like to call, the suckers.

These are the poor saps that are standing in the middle of the wind and rain determined to provide an eye catching and thrilling story.

I think, someone needs to tell the suckers how ridiculous they look being blown over.

The real question is, is this news? Now obviously, the hurricane and the damaged it has caused for people is real news. But modern technology can tell us the force of an impending hurricane. Do we need to jeopardize an underpaid reporter’s life to sensationalize an event like this? I found myself watching video clips on of reporters standing in the rain and wind, no longer concerned about the effects of the hurricane but entertained by the reporters’ antics of training to remain upright in 100 mph gusts.

By now you may be asking yourself, “Liz, I thought you just blogged last week about how important it was for journalists to go after the story, even if that means harm.” Guilty as charged.

I did say that and I still stand by it. However, I believe there is a difference between jail and a few bruises versus being mauled in the face by a tree trunk or road sign. It is a thin line to cross but it comes down to everyone asking themselves when too much is simply too much. You couldn’t pay me enough to stand in a hurricane for a two minute video to be posted and watched by people who just want to see me fall on my ass by the strength of the wind. But I would research and dig and investigate any story I felt had a true impact on our lives even if that meant going to jail.


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