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  • Ann Marie Cumming 3:07 pm on March 6, 2018 Permalink  

    Local Broadcasters: A Lifeline in Florida 

    Day in and day out across America local broadcasters are a trusted source of critical news and information.  Never is that role more important than in times of emergency and severe weather when broadcasters become a lifeline to communities in need.

    Less than a week after Hurricane Harvey struck the east coast of Texas, Hurricane Irma barreled down on the Caribbean Islands before hitting Florida’s west coast, prompting massive evacuations and leaving more than 6 million people without power.  Florida broadcasters were steadfast in their mission to keep viewers and listeners safe.  News crews hunkered down – battling the elements, tracking the storm, galvanizing communities and providing lifesaving information.

    NAB and the Broadcast Education Association storm chasers set out once again to document the indispensable role that local radio and television stations serve as “first informers” during times of emergency.  We are pleased to present the fifth installment in this powerful video series.

     

    Interviews with dozens of Florida broadcasters reveal their dedication to journalism and commitment to serving communities:

    “In a crisis, it’s time to communicate to your community because you might be the only thing they have.” Jeff Zito, Program Director/Host, Beasley Media Group’s WRXK “96 K-Rock” – Ft. Myers

    “As reporters, we were standing at the phonelines, and we were telling people, ‘this is available if you need help and you don’t know what to do.’” Jess Doudrick, Multimedia Journalist, Raycom Media’s WWSB ABC 7 – Sarasota

     “Our program director, Nio Fernandez, stepped up tremendously to help the Hispanic audience (providing in-language programing).” Tee Gentry, Operations Manager, Beasley Media Group – Tampa

    “We had more than 20 of our reporters and meteorologists, even sports people, out in the field to give people an idea of where this storm was, how it was going to affect their lives, and when it would arrive.” Steve Jerve, Chief Meteorologist, Nexstar Media Group’s WFLA NBC News 8 – Tampa

    “If I can show myself out there (in the storm), there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than covering a hurricane to let our viewers know what’s happening.” Michael Paluska, Reporter, Scripps’ WFTS ABC Action News – Tampa

    “In the Keys, radio was king. It was everything.” Julie Guy, Show Host, Entercom’s “Lite FM 101.5” WLYF – Miami

    “I think that this storm was proof, to a lot of people in our community that we’re here for them and that we’re trying to give them an accurate portrayal of what is going on.” Whitney Burbank, Reporter, Hearst’s WPBF ABC 25 – West Palm Beach

    Many thanks once again to Media Arts Professor Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma and Chandra Clark, professor of Journalism and Creative Media at the University of Alabama. Scott and Chandra, along with their students, compiled extensive footage and conducted dozens of interviews for a video account of broadcasters’ heroic efforts in covering Hurricane Irma.

    The 2017 hurricane season caused major devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands, while wildfires and mudslides decimated parts of California. Through it all, broadcasters have been on the front lines. As cell phone service went down and cable was rendered obsolete, broadcasters remained on the air, going above and beyond to keep viewers and listeners safe and informed.

     
  • Ann Marie Cumming 12:16 pm on February 21, 2018 Permalink  

    Local Broadcasters: Hurricane Harvey Heroes 

    NAB and the Broadcast Education Association are pleased to present the fourth installment in a powerful video series demonstrating the indispensable role that local radio and television broadcasters serve as “first informers” during times of emergency.

    This film focuses on broadcasters’ heroic response to Hurricane Harvey, which in late August 2017 dumped more than 40 inches of rain in four days, causing historic flooding in east Texas and leaving tens of thousands of residents homeless.

    The 5-minute mini-documentary features dramatic footage of the devastation and examples of broadcasters’ Herculean efforts to provide life-saving emergency information and community assistance.

    Stations devoted enormous resources as staff risked their own safety to provide essential coverage, coped with flooded stations, and overcame technical difficulties to stay on air – all while many station staff members experienced their own property damage and were displaced from family members.

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who visited Houston shortly after the hurricane, shared with the documentary team his appreciation for broadcasters.  “People really want information when there’s something that’s threatening them and their families, and broadcasters step into the breach and provide that information,” said Pai.

    Interviews with more than 45 broadcasters reveal their dedication to journalism and commitment to serving communities, particularly in times of need.

    “(Covering the storm) was our most difficult hour and our finest hour.” Len Cannon, Anchor, KHOU 11, Houston, TX

    “The role of local media in a disaster like this is to really be a lifeline for our viewers.” Sally MacDonald, Anchor, KRIV Fox 26, Houston, TX

    “It’s almost an instinct.  You go out, and you do it, and you cover it because this is something that affects not only you personally or your family, but also millions of people.” Lester Gretsch, Sports Anchor, KXLN Univision 45, Houston, TX

    “(Broadcasters) are their eyes and ears… If they had power, they were tuned in.” James Ware, Reporter, KFDM CBS 6, Beaumont, TX

    “(Supporting the recovery efforts) is really when it means something special and when it’s expected of broadcasters.” Scott Sparks, Air Personality and Music Director, KHPT 106.9 “The Eagle,” Houston, TX

    Many thanks once again to Media Arts Professor Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma and Chandra Clark, professor of Journalism and Creative Media at the University of Alabama. Scott and Chandra, along with their students, compiled extensive footage and conducted more than 45 interviews for a video account of broadcasters’ heroic efforts in covering this devastating storm.

    Previously released videos in the series include a feature on broadcasters’ response to tornadoes that struck Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL; the second film documented broadcast coverage of Superstorm Sandy; and the third video examined broadcasters’ lifeline role as deadly tornadoes ripped through Moore, OK.

     
  • Ann Marie Cumming 10:06 am on July 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Moore,   

    Local Broadcasters: A Lifeline for Residents of Moore, OK 

    NAB is proud to present the third installment in a powerful video series demonstrating the irreplaceable and indispensable role that local radio and television broadcasters play as “first informers” during times of emergency.  The first installment featured the tornadoes of Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL; the second featured broadcast station efforts from Washington, DC to New York in the coverage of Superstorm Sandy.

    This film focuses on Moore, OK, where in May deadly tornadoes stretching 17 miles long and measuring 1.3 miles wide ripped through the nation’s heartland, demolishing neighborhoods, businesses, a hospital and two elementary schools. Twenty-four people died, a toll that could have been far greater were it not for the efforts of local broadcasters.

    Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin thanked broadcasters in a post-storm press conference, saying, “The media has done a superb job over the last couple of days of keeping people informed about the current weather conditions, especially our weathermen and those that have been on the ground driving and calling and tracking the storm itself…I had many people come up and say, because of the media and their rapid response and reporting on the track of the storms, they were able to get to a storm shelter and be safe.”

    This 6-minute mini-documentary features never-before-seen footage of the devastation, along with testimonials from local broadcasters related to their preparation for the unprecedented weather emergency, their uninterrupted news coverage, their support for first responders and victims of the storm, and their assist in recovery efforts.  The film includes commentaries from broadcasters such as these:

    “It was no longer about having good television, and instead it was about providing life-saving information.”  Damon Lane, KOCO-TV Oklahoma City chief meteorologist

    “You have to be as descriptive as you can and paint the best picture of what the storm is doing and where the storm is.”  Jon Welsh, KFOR-TV,  Bob Moore Chopper 4 pilot/reporter

    “(Our station) was constantly getting needed, vital information…(Listeners) knowing that you’re connected like that means the world to them.” Janet, KJ103 (KJYO-FM), morning show host

    “When we really shine is when the storm has passed and the recovery efforts start.”  Brad Copeland, KATT-FM morning show host

    “Any little way that we can help make someone’s life a little easier during these tough times.  I think that’s what it’s all about.” Steve O’Brien, Magic 104.1 KMGL, program director/morning show host.

    “With the power of that storm and with the velocity that it had coming in to that Moore area; if (residents) hadn’t known, we could have lost hundreds (of lives), and we didn’t.” Linda Cavanaugh, KFOR-TV, anchor/reporter

    NAB salutes the heroic lifeline coverage of Oklahoma broadcasters. Many thanks once again to the film’s producer Media Arts Professor Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma.  Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and his students spent countless hours collecting footage and conducting interviews for this video account of broadcasters’ remarkable efforts in covering this horrific act of Mother Nature.

     
  • Ann Marie Cumming 4:19 pm on April 24, 2013 Permalink  

    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

     
  • Ann Marie Cumming 10:24 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Crisis, , , Hurricane, , , , Public service,   

    Broadcasters: America’s ‘First Informers’ 

    Every day across America, local radio and television broadcasters serve communities in extraordinary ways: raising millions of dollars for charity, rescuing kidnapped children with AMBER Alerts, and creating awareness about important health and safety issues through public affairs programming.

    Regardless of individual broadcasters’ level of commitment to public service, there is no role stations embrace more seriously than that of “first informer.” Indeed, during times of crisis, no technology can replicate broadcasting’s reliability in reaching mass audiences. It is also during these times when an ethos prevails among broadcasters — an ethos that compels stations to go “the extra mile” for the safety and well-being of viewers and listeners.

    2011 was no exception. The year included devastating tornadoes, a rare East Coast earthquake, wildfires, Hurricane Irene and other severe storms and flooding. Through it all, local radio and television stations were a reliable lifeline, preempting regular programing with news coverage and life-saving information.

    When Hurricane Irene was creating dangerous conditions along the East Coast, local TV and radio combined boots on the ground reporting with social media updates to keep viewers informed on the storm. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recognized this role when he told Americans to turn to their local TV and radio stations for information about the impending storm and to receive important updates from first responders.

    In April, Alabama and Missouri were devastated by the worst tornado outbreak in 40 years. In the span of a few hours, entire neighborhoods were destroyed and hundreds of lives lost. Thousands were left homeless. Radio and television broadcasters were instrumental in saving lives with tornado warnings and emergency and disaster relief information. They also played a critical role in the recovery and rebuilding of communities in the aftermath of the storms.

    These feats of courage, dedication and generosity demonstrated by local broadcasters are captured in this short film produced by talented media arts professor, Scott Hodgson, and his students at the University of Oklahoma, along with Chandra Clark, professor of telecommunications and film at The University of Alabama. Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and Chandra compiled stunning footage for a video account of broadcasters’ response to these horrific tornadoes.

     
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