Michael Grotticelli /
01.07.2011
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Local TV is main source for weather information

A new Rasmussen poll has found that more than half of Americans still rely on their local television station when they want to know weather information, though they also believe the weather information is made to sound worse than it really is.

Rasmussen’s survey, which asked respondents to identify their primary source of weather information, reported that 54 percent chose local television. Among participants, 20 percent use the Internet, 19 percent cable television, 5 percent radio, and 2 percent relied on newspapers.

However, according to Rasmussen, 51 percent of respondents believe the media makes the weather sound worse than it really is, compared with 37 percent who think the media plays it straight and 12 percent who don’t know or have no opinion.

In posting the results of the poll on its website, RBR-TVBR.com noted it was surprised that cable television didn’t get a stronger response, but it was not surprised to see newspapers as a nonfactor in weather reporting.

“[The result] clearly shows that local television stations recognize this as a key bread-and-butter item on their local reporting menu,” RBR-TVBR said.

“As for the media exaggerating the negative side of the weather, we believe that it does, but that there is method to this madness,” the organization wrote. “It is better to have predicted problems and have them not happen, than to watch your area get blasted by a storm system of one kind or another that wasn’t mentioned at all. Media outlets have no choice but to mention all possibilities.”

However, “BB,” who posted a response, disagreed with the poll, saying:

“People are gullible, how else to explain this? Local TV newscasts are some of the worst programming that exists anywhere, the continued dumbing down of America. Why ANYONE would watch this programming to get their weather is beyond me when there are so many other credible alternatives. The poll MUST HAVE skewed older. When those that are 40 and older eventually die off, there will be no new generations tuning in to local TV news; the weather will be at an arm’s length at all times on some sort of mobile device.”



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