On coverage of Cyclone Debbie

Denise Marcos writes : Re. “‘Hypocritical’ journos risk life and limb to cover Cyclone Debbie” (Wednesday)

There were many shortcomings in the TV coverage of Cyclone Debbie besides the obvious one cited in Crikey (the ludicrous scenario of reporters located outdoors while earnestly adjuring locals to remain indoors lest lives be lost). The sight of Seven’s favourite father figure, Kochie, tootling about a ravaged Bowen the morning after as though on a Sunday arvo drive was priceless. Will it qualify for a Logie category? It’s inexplicable why cameras were focused on sodden journos while a wealth of landscape images remained out of shot. Sure, the viewers saw wild conditions but the overall theme was the irrepressible drenched journo reporting from the frontline as Mother Nature lashed.

During a lengthy prattle on a commercial network the studio host interrupted, “What are you seeing there?” Clearly the news director believed they were on radio rather than broadcasting in a visual medium because, instead of the camera panning, it stayed firmly on the raincoated journo who attempted to describe the surrounding havoc…inadequately. Note to TV directors: commentators do not need to be seen; during a sporting event cameras focus on the action, not on the commentary box.

What does a cyclone sound like? Journos stressed it was deafening, howling, like a train, jet etc. Had they remained silent for a single minute we would have actually heard it. Viewers hundreds or thousands of kilometers removed may have been transfixed by the distressing sound of a live category four cyclone, sixty seconds of rare and truly powerful airtime. Instead, opportunity lost, the journos rabbitted on about how fearsome it was. We will have to take their word for it.

On the closure of Hazelwood

John Richardson writes: Re. “On lazy energy policy reporting

In endorsing his use of the phrase, “a pox on all their houses”, John Kotsopoulos seems very keen to share David Edmunds hair shirt while attempting to fashion a position of advantage for Labor in the energy policy quagmire. The only problem with that is that my original criticisms of all the parties in this debate were made on the basis that none of them had considered the possibility of solving our so-called electricity crisis by reducing demand, rather than engaging in an endless argument about which self-serving proposal to create more electricity had the greatest merit.

If that makes me a “one trick political fringe dweller with a blinkered agenda,” I’m not sure where that leaves John & David.

Peter Fray

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