When you’re a kid, snow means a day off of school, sledding and snow angels. When you’re older, it means another mad dash to the store to get the essentials.
But when you work in news, snow has a lot of meanings.
Weather is one of the most important aspects of the job, whether we’re interrupting Judge Judy for a tornado warning or sending reporters down to the coast for hurricane coverage. When big weather hits, it dominates our coverage. Sunday’s snowstorm was no exception.
As soon as one of our meteorologists spotted wintry weather in the forecast, they start moving. They got the forecast to the newsroom and the digital team wrote up a story and sent out app notifications. We posted the story to social media and gave it prime placement on the front of the site. And every day, as “Game Day” got closer, our meteorologists got more specific. They narrowed down the timeline and compared different models to determine what they believed would be the most likely scenario.
On Thursday and Friday, the news team was finalizing plans for coverage. How many photojournalists will we be able to get out into the field? How many digital producers will we need to keep up with breaking news? We may have a specific forecast in mind, but it’s hard to know how many crashes will shut down highways. We can’t be sure where trees will come down or how many people will lose power. We hope for the best, but we prepare for the worst.
On Saturday, we made sure our fleet of vehicles was gassed up. We listened close to Gov. Roy Cooper as he and the emergency management team outlined their plan. Some of us hit the hay early so we could be back in studio before dawn, and we even had a few who tried to get a little shuteye at the studio so they could be here when the first flakes fell
Sunday. Game Day.
It’s a flood of photos and videos. Our photojournalists are motoring across unplowed roads, grateful for their four-wheel drive. In the studio, we’re making phone calls and counting outages all across the Triad and making sure you know how long you may be in the dark. Sundays are usually one of our lighter days, but, on this Sunday, we’re all hands on deck.
For your local news team, snow means weeks of work. It means no excuses. It means showing up and giving it your all even when most people are comfortably at home.
Because, when you work in news, snow means doing your part to keep the community safe and make the Triad a better place to live. It’s something we’re glad to do because we’re confident that someone in our viewing area will be better for it, whether it’s keeping someone off the road or it’s finding a reason to smile while scrolling through our photo gallery.
Thank you for tuning in, for sending in your photos, for speaking with our reporters, and most of all for taking care of yourselves and your families during a potentially dangerous time. We couldn’t do it without you!
– Justyn Melrose, digital executive producer