Weather is the eternal story idea and pain my butt

Even if print dies and all newscasts devolve into a disarray of cat videos and cheesy top 10 lists, there will still be one news item that will live on forever — the weather.

It is truly remarkable how every year this area gets some semblance of winter weather — somewhere in between 2 inches and 2 feet — and it is still the biggest story of the season. This year, of course, was no exception.

The Daily Tar Heel wrote two different front page stories about the snow, primarily because when no one is in their office to return our calls, what can we report on?

Snowdays in journalism, especially the newspaper business, are not a godsend like they are for the rest of the world. People still want and need the news despite not going to their own jobs for the day (yes that was supposed to be full of shade).

I can say that when your job is to report on University news and the only thing new  coming from it is that it is closed due to weather, you are basically left with no choice.

This isn’t me saying stories about snow and weather are unimportant. I know that follow-ups to natural disasters, like holding FEMA accountable for the shitshow they put on during Hurricane Katrina, are extremely important. It’s just that initial story that blows my mind as to how fascinating it is to the average person.

If a story is about 4 inches of snow, it is going to include some pretty typical things:

  • How many accidents the local police responded to
  • How many power outages
  • How this snowfall stacks up historically (with the obligatory “this storm, of course, is nothing compared to the wrath of winter gods we experienced in year XXXX” phrase)
  • How people are enjoying their day off
  • How the grocery stores sold all of their bread and milk — like all of it
  • Annddddddd that’s kind of it….

I wrote a snow story last week for the DTH, but luckily, I had the locally trending hashtag #WheresCarol and annoyed sense of body to deviate from the norm with, or else I would be turning into something I complain about it.


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