Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Now this is the type of weather that gets die-hard journalists excited. Not that anyone exults when there is death and destruction, but the opportunity to report on the extraordinary is always exciting.
That said, we have to give kudos to all the major tv stations for bringing us on the ground reports of the flooding well before the major newscasts were scheduled to begin.
At 4:30 we saw TV6's Fabian Pierre wading through muddy water (a la the old Sampson Nanton) at the bottom of Charlotte Street to give his viewers a sense of the depth of the water (the piece was recorded, and thanks for using that wireless mic). We also saw weatherman Damian Salandy out on the streets, standing there with a wired mic (your station only has one wireless mic? - like you 'ent 'fraid to get shock?).

CNC 3 had some great recorded overhead shots of the flooding along South Quay, and Melissa Williams did a good job on the telephone report.
C News' Charlene Ramdhanie was also out and about (via telephone), but we were disappointed that we did not see any live shots much earlier than your 7pm newscast. Time to ask Patrick for a news helicopter. Or should that be Neil?

At 7pm CNC 3 had a very cool flooding graphic and very dramatic music at the start of Sampson's report. TV6 unfortunately chose to run that same five minute report that Fabian did at 4:30 at the top of the 7pm newscast. Unfortunately it had already lost most of the dramatic effect.
And to cap off the drama of the day, CNC 3 and C News both wisely chose to extend their newscasts to continue with coverage of the flooding; CNC went to 8:15 with telephone interviews, while Miss Ramdhanie of C News brought us live reports from South Quay up to 8:45 with Golda Lee anchoring the programme. Unfortunately though the same packaged reports which were used during the 7pm newscast were used again during the extended newscast, and were used again during the 9pm broadcast without any re-editing and without any new material being added.
The 9pm broadcast should have started with Golda introducing Miss Ramdhanie for a live report to give an immediate perspective on the flooding, and she could have introduced one of the earlier packaged pieces, then the director could have cut back to Golda in the studio to continue with the flooding stories.

Here are the reports in the Newsday, Guardian, Express.

BTW, we caught this on the TV6 midday news: "Highjacked oil tanker nears Somalia". Hmmmm. At least it was correctly adjusted a short time later. Please check these things before the viewer sees them.