Having majored in journalism, I find it hard to not keep an eye on the news. I enjoy knowing what’s going on in my community and the surrounding areas. It’s my belief that you can never be too well informed, and when it comes to extreme weather, this especially holds true.
As early as Saturday afternoon, WCIA meteorologists were warning of potentially dangerous weather impacting Illinois the following day. As far as I know, meteorologists don’t make these things up for shock value. There is no sensationalism in forcasting the weather. I have only ever known the local meteorologists and the news teams they work with to have their community’s best interest and safety in mind.
So as severe weather raged through Illinois Sunday, you can imagine my shock and disgust at the individuals whining about how WCIA was breaking into the Chicago Bears game too often, for too long. Dozens of people took to WCIA’s Facebook page to voice their complaints about the lack of football on their TV screen, while in less fortunate parts of the state, entire towns even, were being destroyed.
“Turn on the bears game I’m not even in a county affected!”
“Your going to scroll at the bottom on the screen the entire game anyway. Get off the air!!!! Quit repeating yourself. You’ve been blabbing for twenty minutes over some wind and rain. GET OFF THE AIR!!!!!!!!!!”
“Show the coverage of the Bears game! We’ve all been through storms! We don’t need to see full nonstop coverage of these storms!!”
“Wtf , now the weather guy gives updates”
“You guys are terrible. We understand a storm is coming. The internet was a nifty invention it rendered you useless. Game now.”
That’s just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of comments directed at WCIA for their coverage of the weather on Sunday that broke into the Bears game. Apparently, the comments and direct messages were so numerous that the Sports Director, Aaron Bennet, posted this on his Facebook page:
Was so disappointed to read the dozens of vulgar, profanity-laced inbox messages people sent to the WCIA Facebook page today complaining about our weather updates cutting into the Bears game. I understand you were upset, but there’s no reason to drop F-bombs behind a private Facebook message, especially when Derick cut his weekend vacation short to work all day to keep people safe. Our team did an outstanding job, and I’m so proud to call WCIA home. Praying for those in Gifford & Washington and everyone else who was hit today. Priorities people.
I think that it’s worth noting that the number of lives lost during the 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns in Illinois was relatively small in comparison to the severity of the storms. I’ll credit news stations like WCIA for that. Without their constant storm coverage, Illinois residents may not have had the information and warning that they needed.