WDAM Viewpoint- Coverage Priorities

April 29, 2011

In the aftermath of the devastation of the record tornados that ravaged six Southern states including Mississippi…with the death toll expected to top 300 in the region and entire communities leveled, many of you have questioned why the networks all chose to pre-empt the local morning news for the royal wedding.  That is a logical question.  In fact it is one I've asked myself many times.  Of course the networks all spent a fortune to cover the fairy tale event in old London town and all had a huge percentage of their news crews on the scene to cover Kate and William's nuptials.  If you took a poll…my guess is that a majority—if they were honest—would admit to preferring the guilty pleasure of watching the royal romantic event.  The networks are competitive and no one is gonna be the only one not to carry the much ballyhooed soap opera.  Some would even say we need the escapism from tragic reality.  Are our priorities screwed up?  Perhaps so.  Have we and will we continue to give the tornados and their aftermath of human suffering and need enormous amounts of coverage—you bet we are.  In fact, next week we will be joining with other stations around the state to promote Red Cross efforts to raise funds and volunteers to help out.  We will stay with this story and the efforts to recover for as long as it takes.  We understand the concerns about this morning.  But be assured that our commitment to keep you informed about this terrible and historic storm activity and the people who are affected is solid and will not go lacking.  I'm Jim Cameron…continue to let us know what's on your mind.