New Source and Progress Report

For this week’s blog post I opted to refer to another past study: Local Climate Experts: The Influence of Local TV Weather Information of Climate Change Perceptions. The study was conducted across Virginia under the guise of a university study compensating the subjects for their time. Participants were asked how often they viewed local weather reports (and were disqualified if they answered never), perceptions of extreme local weather, perceptions of climate change, their trust in tv weathercasters, and about their political ideologies. They found that the greater exposure to tv weather the more awareness of extreme weather and belief in climate change. Seventy-seven percent of participants noted that they trust their local weathercaster and this trust lead itself to awareness on climate change. The results showcased the role in newscaster trust has on the viewer and can be a measurable tool for science communication in addressing the public on environmental concerns.

I felt this study was a real clutch find because it directly relates to my project. The past research indicating trust in newscasters directly relates to awareness of climate change and action creates a solid foundation for me to base my questions for my interview subjects in the meteorology field as well as the other scientific disciplines. The study indicates that experts hold a valuable responsibility in the information they present to the public. This information and findings are helpful to me as I study the topics in general and form my interview questions specifically.

In terms of progress check in, Kathy Orr and I are trying to set up her interview and I’m still sending out emails for subjects. I’ve gotten a few “I’ll check my schedule,” responses, so at least they aren’t hard nos. Aside from that and trying to get my calendar in order I’m working on the paper and getting that finished before the deadline and finalize my project materials. I know any kind of script I have to turn in will be difficult because I feel like the quotes I get in my interviews will drive the narration and it will be one of the last things that I do. I just must operate under the “it’s easier to go back an edit a bad page than it is no page.”


Bloodhart, B., Maibach, E., Myers, T., & Zhao, X. (2015). Local climate experts: The influence of local TV weather information on climate change perceptions: E0141526. PLoS ONE, 10(11) doi:

New Source and Progress Report

For this week’s blog post I chose the article “Let it snow: just lay off the incredibly hyped ‘storm tracker’ coverage and give it to us straight,” by Deborah Potter. In this article Potter discusses the sensationalist tactics in weather reporting and how they shape public perception. She uses the example of the so-called storm of the century on the east coast in 2001 that produced little to no accumulation. While weather predicting radar is more accurate now, any preliminary signs of storms show up, and sometimes those storms don’t materialize. News stations use weather reporting as another competition for ratings as they send out their whole crew out to different parts of the area to report on how people are preparing, how roads are being prepared, and what weather for which they should be prepared. Jumping the gun in reporting breeds public mistrust due to information that ends up being inaccurate.

This article relates to my project because public perception of weather reporting and sensationalist journalism can affect their views on climate science and their behavior as it relates to it. Staging weather reports as just another quest for ratings takes away from the content of information being presented. Stations are preoccupied with being the first to report a possible storm instead of being patient and report the correct information as it becomes clearer via radar the first time. This article while providing a valuable discussion also provided me with a train of thought for questioning interview subjects in the meteorology field.

As far as my project goes, I’m sorting through my found footage and b roll to decide what I’m bringing to class on Wednesdays. I’m also reaching out for interview subjects in what I’m learning is a never-ending process. I’m trying to laser focus on the paper at this point as well for the draft due in the next three weeks, which comes with all the research and rereading my sources involved. I’ve started my literature review which historically for me is the most painful, and therefore most time-consuming part.


Potter, D. (2002). Let it snow: just lay off the incredibly hyped “storm tracker” coverage and give it to us straight. (Broadcast Views). American Journalism Review, 24(9), 68. Retrieved from

I finally have a title (and new source)

For this week’s blog post I chose to gloss over “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness” by Neil Postman. Postman takes Debord’s theory of the spectacle and expands it to include the television and emerging internet landscapes of the mid-1990s. His work is still applicable today despite being published over twenty years ago. He surveys how the idea of celebrity is pushed through media channels and creates the most sellable messages despite validity or accuracy. Whereas DeBord lays the framework for the theory of the spectacle, Postman takes the theory and adds a harsh critique on how we absorb messages and the actions we partake in based on those messages.

Postman’s “wake up” tone lines up with the direction that my film has taken since Wednesday’s a-ha moment. I had already planned on using this source because of its insight but the tone had me concerned as to how I was going to make it fit. Amusing Ourselves also surveys more modern technologies that were not included in The Society of the Spectacle due to chronemics. It’s important to add in the internet, even if the internet  was in its infancy stages in 1995. That’s why I am also planning on pulling in “Media Spectacles” by Kellner published in 2005 and Marwick’s “The Fabulous Life of Micro-Celebrities” to reflect more modern technologies. These four sources make up my main theoretical framework in theory driving my project.

I finally have a title, so that’s exciting. Thanks to Dr. Shaw throwing out that “Two to Midnight” when I brought up the doomsday clock. I feel like the voice of the project went from hippie dippie granola “please listen to me and save the planet,” to a snarkier “wake the [heck] up,” and the latter is much more my personal voice. It’s liberating to finally get over that hump. I’ve gotten a couple  “let me check my schedule” emails from people I reached out to for interviews which is better than  no response. At this point I’m focusing on the interviews and the paper draft because of deadlines. But  now that I finally have a title, I feel so much better about everything. It was like magic.