Media Lessons Forgotten & Jim Forbes on the San Diego Fires…

Got a great pointer from David Churbuck to a post from Jim Forbes on his evacuation due to the San Diego fires…

First, our thoughts and prayers to Jim and everyone afflicted by these fires.

Jim, in his usual style, hits on one of the big problems with media today. They’ve lost track of what matters on the local level. Even worse, local is the only spot most media is relevant.

With the one exception of the San Diego AM radio fox affiliate, the new has been incredibly superficial. There have been almost no details on what routes are open or how to get to the Fallbrook Gate of Camp Pendleton to drive across the base and get on I-5, which is open to Los Angeles.

Then he sums it up…

The inability or unwillingness of AM radio to provide detailed information on the status of communities effected by the fires in San Diego is one of the most damning comments that can be made about talk radio today. There are more than 200,000 residents of this county that have been evacuated to centers tonight and all talk and news radio can do is provide superficial overviews of fire status and not one scintilla of granular detail.

Note to news media: if you’re not NBC, CBS or CNN, then you’re probably local. Do local right. Forget the hand wringing and be the resource you ought to be. When the people who are your customers are in trouble, you need to be the “go to.”

 

Update: Jim made the front page of Slashdot, with the predicatable effects:

  1. His site’s running slow and I’ve seen some weirdness. Funny how being Slashdotted leaves Jim up and running while most newspaper websites collapse under the weight of the traffic.
  2. Discussion runs rampant among the geek masses, with a large number of the posts being made by folks who *obviously* never bothered to read Jim’s report, which makes their points utterly moot…social networking at its low point…

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