Lessons for media in Gabrielle’s wild embrace

As immediate dangers recede, we will see and hear more and more in the media about the lessons to be learned from Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation. Several of those insights relate to the news media themselves.

First, however, news teams can stand proudly beside those who responded to the national emergency. Reporters, visual journalists, anchors, news executives, production teams and technicians did the industry proud in bringing vital information to the public. They more than vindicated the heading on this commentary a week ago: Thank God for news media in a storm.

We watched, listened, and read as contact with large areas of the North Island were cut off by raging water, as houses and livelihoods were swept away, and as the cost in human lives began to mount. For some, electricity and Internet were cut and even the media horizon shrank, sometimes to nothing if there were no batteries for that transistor radio retrieved from a bottom drawer. And news teams in those blacked-out areas used all their ingenuity to keep reporting and to maintain contact with the outside world as they moved through the broken landscape. Continue reading “Lessons for media in Gabrielle’s wild embrace”