Monday, February 02, 2009

The Big Freeze

From 2009-02-02 Snow020209

I had it kicked (almost literally) into me at ITN that no TV news editor can under respond to a weather story. So it was all hands to the pumps when the Russian climate came calling to South and East England late last night, and with yours truly on the night shift.

Last night taught me two things: the internet has changed our journalism and infinitely for the better. I was getting tweets about where the snow was, a producer at Gatwick Airport conducted vox pops of frustrated passengers on her phone, and of course there was a pile of imagery and video from members of the public.

The other is the fragility of our planning when communications get disrupted; ultimately you cannot send a satellite truck anywhere if the engineer who drives it is stuck on a train near Sevenoaks. Which is where the lesson above comes in.

Update: By 1700 Monday the BBC had received over 24,000 stills of snow sent by the British public.

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