Thursday, February 18, 2021

News Media: Please Look in the Mirror

Today's Dallas Morning News has a scathing column criticizing Texas' officials for failure to protect the state against the "predictable" harsh winter storm. They are correct: ERCOT and Texas officials deserve all of the blame that can be reasonably laid at their boots. 

But, the newspaper curiously doesn't accept any of the blame. Should they? I think so. 

This blog has covered the superb forecasts of an extreme weather event and even warned Texas the effects would be like a hurricane. Yet, here is the front page of the Dallas Morning News Sunday, which was hours before all hell broke loose.
See anything missing? Me, too

Obviously, the Morning News' editors underestimated the impending extreme weather in spite of the excellent forecasts and storm warnings. Below is a screenshot from this blog from 10am Saturday.
Most all of Texas was under a winter storm warning and the rest was under a winter storm watch (all the way to the Gulf coast) but the warnings were completely ignored on the front page. Note above the map the prediction elaborates, it will cause disruption on the order of a hurricane. Commerce will be frozen, power will likely be out in areas, and it will be difficult to get to medical emergencies. All that seems worthy of front page coverage, don't you think? 

My point is this: it seems hypocritical for the newspaper to be pointing fingers at others when it completely blew the front page coverage of this once-in-a-lifetime storm and cold wave. It would be healthy for the entire Texas media to examine its coverage of the weather forecasts and storm warnings in order to make sure the coverage is up to par next time. 

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