An Open Letter to Tri-State Reporters Braving the Winter Weather
Dear Local News Reporters,
First off, let me say I know there are far more of you in the area than what is pictured above, so please don't take offensive if you didn't get included. This letter is to all of you.
Earlier this week as the forecasted winter storm and bitter cold temperatures started making their way into the area, I watched you from the cozy comfort of the studio. When you told us the roads are bad, it's stupid cold outside, and don't go out if you don't have to, I whole-heartedly agreed and relayed your message on the radio. But then - THEN - you immediately went live STANDING IN THE SAME NONSENSE YOU TOLD US ALL TO AVOID!
Each time it happened, I thought to myself, "Why is this necessary?" We know the roads suck. We know it's ridiculously cold. All we have to do is open our front door or look out the window, and we can see and feel it for ourselves. Having you bundle up and stand in snow drifts well past your ankles while the wind whips thousands of snowflakes into your face in below zero wind chills as you try to get through a report before your face freezes just makes me want to bring you hot chocolate and a warm blanket.
So, listen, I believe you. I don't need to see you freeze your butts off and almost die trying to show us the roads. I. BELIEVE. YOU!
I've thought this before in other situations. Severe storms with the possibility of tornadoes, heavy rains flooding roadway making them impassable, the list goes on, and each time I've asked, "Why?"
I was sharing these thoughts with a friend of mine recently through some texts, and while she agreed, she also said, "Ryan, they live for this. They knew what they signed up for." It was something I had never thought of before, and it gave me a new perspective.
First of all, she was right. You did know these types of live shots were part of the job, but it dawned on me that maybe that's why you signed up for the job. It's the same reason I get up at 3:30 in the morning, get to work before the sun comes up, and sometimes don't leave until after the sun goes down. It's the same reason why I and my co-workers stand in the east side Walmart parking lot for three straight days in December collecting toys for kids. Because we love it. Reporting the weather is your passion. You love the connection you get to make with your audience. You love to make an impact on the lives of people in our community. You have a desire to inform, to tell the stories that need to be told, even if that means standing at the corner of a snow covered intersection while Mother Nature throws everything in the freezer at your face. Or making sure "the guy in the back" KNOWS that the roads are pure ice and it's in his best interest to just stay home.
So, thank you. Thank you for braving the elements, whatever they may be, to not only tell us what's happening where we live, but to show us as well.