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Media still under impression that cold weather constitutes ‘news’

In Media, News on January 12, 2010 at 09:25

Newsworthy, apparently

Britain’s broadcast media continued to labour under the illusion that the nation’s current cold snap still constituted headline ‘news’ this morning, despite the fact that most normal people have accepted it as a normal aspect of their daily lives at this time of year.

The BBC, SKY, ITN and most radio services were still running headline news stories this morning about how the cold weather has hit commuters and brought the country to a standstill – even though the cold weather set in more than three weeks ago.

“I’m glad that the news on the radio told me that the cold weather would make driving conditions tricky because of the icy weather,” said 21 year-old Kelly Streatham, via mobile phone. “I’ve been swerving all over the bloody place because of the black ice so I’m glad they let me know.”

Countless others have found themselves in a similar position. Terry Sandwick, 36, from Glasgow noted: “I was watching a report on the BBC which said that the snow was so deep in Scotland that it was stopping many people from getting to work.

“I looked out of the window, and sure, enough, there was sh*t loads of that white stuff everywhere. I knew there had to be a reason why I had been sitting at home on the Playstation all day drinking premium strength lager and not in the office on conference calls.”

When asked when we can expect an end to the cold weather news nonsense, SKY weatherman Francis Wilson sounded uncertain.  “Well, you know, we put a lot of hard work and scientific analysis into predicting the weather, so it’s difficult to predict it accurately.

“Of course, most days, all that just goes completely out the window and we tell everyone that whatever weather they are currently experiencing will go on until roughly the same time tomorrow, then go to the pub.

But in terms of accurately forecasting when this current band of cold weather will end, it’s anyone’s guess.  If you had to push me, I’d say it would be around March – maybe even April.”

Guardian columnist and media expert Dan Sedgwick suggests that the media’s fascination with the cold weather is due to an inherent lack of understanding of the seasons:

“Every time I speak to a journalist from the BBC or SKY I try to explain to them that weather is a cyclical thing that works in distinct patterns every year called ‘seasons’.  This current pattern, or ‘season’ is called ‘winter’, and brings with it this cold weather, I always tell them – but they just give me a funny look and go back to their pint.”

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