When the weather turns nasty in the UK two things are certain: that all your friends will comment about it on Facebook and that some poor news presenter will be left out in the elements for our entertainment.
We can see outside that the weather is terrible, whether that be the recent downfall of snow or gale force winds, so the question remains – why do news programmes insist on sending a person out to report live from the horrible weather? Most of the time, when a reporter is outside, they can hardly be heard above the wind and rain, which makes their supposed reporting useless.
This reporting is no way reflective of usual weather. You will never see a reporter standing by the side of the road on a typically British weathered day, a light bit of drizzle doesn’t make for interesting viewing. However, as soon as the weather turns even slightly more treacherous, flocks of reporters are forced outside, shivering and defeated. Is this in any way informative, or is it simply for entertainment value?
There is a deviant sense of enjoyment at seeing a weather reporter outside braving the elements while we watch on TV from the comfort of our warm house
Some people hate seeing reporters outside and find that a traditional weather map is far more detailed in explaining in the weather (plus, more importantly, it explains how it will affect different areas of the country, so we can prepare ourselves for knocked-over wheelie bins, etc. based on our local forecast). On the other hand, there is a deviant sense of enjoyment in seeing a weather reporter braving the elements while we watch from the comfort of our warm house, glad that we’re not in that position.
Additionally, presenters reporting outside make for some brilliant comedic moments. A quick browse on video sharing sites and you will see hilarious compilations of presenters blown over by wind, hit with flying signs or soaked with rogue sea waves. Slapstick humour has always been a cheap way of gaining laughs, and news presenters injured by the natural elements are no exception.
A quick browse on video sharing sites and you will see hilarious compilations of presenters blown over by wind, hit with flying signs or soaked with rogue sea waves
A final reason in which TV news forces presenters outside might be to dramatise the weather. The last few weeks has shown that even an inch of snow causes widespread destruction across the UK, while other countries fare perfectly well. In a way, forcing reporters outside into the worst the country has to offer in some ways justifies the national standstill. If we see that a reporter is stuck in the middle of a snowstorm in one corner of the country, our annoyance at delayed trains may be tamed. The weather is bad, so a lack of transport and a countrywide shortage of bread and milk is understandable – right?
Whatever the reason, and however you feel about it, poor weather reporters forced outside in horrible conditions will never change. After all, if they simply told us the weather was horrible, there would always be one person who decided to risk the elements and may get themselves hurt. Partially entertainment, partially education – just be glad you’re not the shivering presenter next time you get annoyed at watching them on TV.