Posts tagged wildfire
In the opening hours of the fire KGNU Radio went right to coverage and information of the Flagstaff Fire. They were telling Boulder automobile commuters exactly what is was they were seeing from the front seat of their car. Local radio is so important in a crisis like this. This is the first time in 30 years that I have heard KGNU be on top of a local crisis with wall to wall reporting. And they should be. That is their job during a city emergency. In the past they were disconectted from the community needs.
Even CU radio 1190 with their goofy college kid DJs actually managed to read the OEM news releases with out sounding like complete stoners. That is how the usually sound in the afternoon. On the second day the afternoon girl and her side kick boy did get off track by talking about their favorites in TV news and how hard reporters work. Trust me , they don’t work hard. Try ad sales. Try firefighting. But at least KGNU and radio 1190 were on the case telling Boulder drivers what the hell was going on.
KOA radio was terrible. Between Rush Limbaugh insulting us and baseball they were of little help with random 15 second reports. KOA is owned by Clear Channel the same conglomerate which owns KCOL. My last report ripped those idiots for not reporting the High park fire. Look , I am just saying , if you are a local radio station in Boulder Colorado and we have a major life threatening crisis, you damn better well drop your scheduled programming and get on the ball.
Boulder Police and Fire media relations still need a lot of work. The city didn’t send out any media releases at all. They depended on Boulder OEM who didn’t send out any news media releases either. The city mistakenly thought that all news media would get the word from the city psychic. Instead of mass press releases the city assumed that media would magically know to go to Boulder OEM. The city also tweeted every 30 seconds. The problem with that is that only 10 to 30 percent of Boulder uses twitter. So for the general population, isolating information flow to twitter on a threatening wildfire is a terrible mistake and lack of good judgement. They should have sent out press releases. And OEM needs a better signup.
Boulder OEM website makes it difficult to receive press releases. They hide the place where you sign up by covering it in a mush of graphics. When you finally get there, you have to go through 15 steps just to get a damn email sent to you. Unlike feedburner or our site which take two steps. I mean, there is something very screwed up about that. Then OEM does not have a media contact or phone listed. When you finally do get to the right person ( after calling everybody else) she won’t return your phone calls. wtf?
Facebook had zero coverage worth noting. Twitter behaved themselves better that they did in 2010. They were notoriously rude. But twitter is still just a plain ole forum with pictures, stories gossip and OMGdz. Twitter is a small club of well educated house wives and office workers. They represent 30 percent of Boulder at most. But they are not mass media. What about the main body of Boulders population?? How do m you reach them immediately in a crisis.
Real mass media in a time of crisis comes from good old fashion AM or FM radio. In Boulder there are only two. KGNU 88.5 FM or CU’s radio 1190 AM. But the city nor the county plan around them. They pretend they don’t exist which is another dumb thing they do. These radio stations should be the first to know.
As far as Boulder Channel 1? As soon as we found the press releases on OEM, we published them. We did a live TV internet cast for one hour on the first evening of the fire from Fairview high where all the fire crews were staged. Citizens were there too. We could see the air assault, the fire, everything. In the past two days we ran live Fire scanner feeds on TV so the entire community could listen in. It was compelling. Now, with a little more rain, hopefully this thing is over.
Jann Scott’s journal
where it just keeps on burning
I couldn’t believe my ears Monday morning when I tuned in to see what was happening. Did I have the wrong radio station? Had the circus commandeered our precious information resource ? What the hell???
I expected to hear Ft Collins news talk radio station 600 KCOL to be pumping out information about the High Park Fire: You know the stuff we residents need right now during a raging wild fire. The latest evacuations, escape routes, where is the Red Cross located? Where can I eat? Where can I sleep?. Is there a medical team , my aunt is having a hard time breathing? Where are are some clean clothes? What roads are open.? Is my house still standing.? Little things like that.
Instead I got the idiot team of Al Malmberg and Sue Sutton acting as though they were on vacation in Disneyland. Worse they were having endless banal jokes about duct tape, her husband, their weight as though the city was not on fire at all. Their insensitivity and and complete lack of broadcast news professionalism is the reason for this column.
This radio station failed so completely to be there for Ft Collins in its greatest time of need, the entire morning show should be fired. The GM should be fired. And Clear channel the corporate vampire should absolutely lose it license to operate this radio station.
When I called Sue and Al, they were insulted that I dare question their programming decisions. They absolutely did not understand why they should suspend all programming and help the community while it burned. That is the chief criteria for an FCC license: Be good stewards of the airwaves we entrust in you. They could have taken calls, brought in volunteers, gotten out information, listened to the fire scanners. Did they do any of that? Hell no. They twiddle twaddled each other. These two are the worst kind of incredibly stupid broadcasters. So thoughtless.
When I talked to the Managing director of the FCC in Washington, he launched an immediate investigation of Al, Sue and KCOL. Nicky Shears the special agent in charge of Colorado called me. She was incensed by the morning show. ” I have been listening and they are not doing much on the fire. I understand your concerns and the concerns of the city. Frankly we are concerned. Every 15 minutes they give very brief update” she said. ”We are taking the KCOL situation very seriously and it will not end here, I assure you.” she said.
What could the FCC do. ?? Suspend the KCOL license, yank the million dollar investment from Clear Channel and hand it to a real community minded person for $1.00. They could do that.
Since KCOL radio in Fort Collins Colorado has clearly violated the spirit of broadcasting, the FCC will likely enact some law that will force the local radio station to go on the air and help with the disaster.
To make matters even worse KCOL pumped out Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and other haters all day and night and never addressed the fire at all.
Jann Scott’s Journal