Local Broadcasters: ‘Communicating Superstorm Sandy’

NAB is proud to present the second installment in a powerful video series demonstrating the vital role that local radio and television broadcasters serve as “first informers” in times of emergency.  This film, entitled “Communicating Superstorm Sandy,” documents the rapid response and lifeline support provided by local broadcasters when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast last fall.

Featuring dramatic storm footage and in-depth interviews with station staff, the mini-documentary charts the storm’s path from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Jersey to New York and includes testimonials such as these:

“By harnessing our listeners and our own resources, we’re able to be that calm voice in a crisis.”  Jim Farley, VP News and Programming, WTOP, Washington, DC

“A local television station is out in the elements.  Our reporters, our anchors – they’re there to tell the true story – to keep the public informed.” Dan Joerres, president/general manager, WBAL-TV 11, Baltimore, MD

“In the immediate aftermath of the storm my way to communicate to the folks in my state was through the broadcasters…” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

“We got so many phone calls from people that were saying that the only thing they had was their little transistor radio…That was their only connection to the outside world.” Sharon Dastur, program director, Z100 WHTZ-FM, New York, NY

“Yes, local news is the first line of defense.  I think it’s still the best conveyance method there is.”  Brian Williams, anchor/managing editor, NBC Nightly News

Many thanks to the film’s producers: Media Arts Professor Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma and Chandra Clark, Ph.D. professor of telecommunications and film at the University of Alabama. Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and Chandra, along with their students, compiled extensive footage and conducted more than 30 interviews for a video account of broadcasters’ heroic efforts in covering this horrific storm.

“Communicating Superstorm Sandy” follows an earlier video produced by the same team documenting broadcasters’ life-saving coverage of the devastating tornadoes that swept through Alabama and Missouri in April 2011.

In conjunction with this project, the following videos were also created to provide more in-depth content of individual communities and states affected by Hurricane Sandy and the critical role played by broadcasters:

Baltimore, MD

Belmar, NJ

New York, NY

Ortley Beach, NJ

Philadelphia, PA

Trenton, NJ

Washington, DC