A sim­ple ap­proach needed to weather re­port­ing

The Compass - - OPINION - — Bill West­cott is a res­i­dent of Clarke’s Beach

I don’t know about you but I am mes­mer­ized watch­ing lo­cal weather re­ports on both CBC and NTV. To say there’s too much glitz and glam­our is putting it mildly.

It seems there is 90 per cent fo­cus on the toys used by both sta­tions to im­press view­ers. By toys, I mean the colour graph­ics, the sweep­ing cir­cles and wipes, the dis­solv­ing lines and the stag­ger­ing amount of fig­ures across the screen.

It took me quite a while to ad­just to CBC Here and Now’s Ryan Sn­od­don. I’m still try­ing to keep up with his rapid de­liv­ery and his jump­ing across the screen from one side to the other ev­ery few sec­onds. The next thing that came out of his hard drive was ref­er­ences to Face­book, Twit­ter and blogs. It is enough to drive me nuts.

If you don’t have a com­puter, you are out in left field. And, did you ever think about the poor old skip­per and his mis­sus out in Joe Batt’s Arm, for ex­am­ple? How con­fused are they with all of this jar­gon?

Re­cently, NTV brought in another smart look­ing, sharply dressed me­te­o­rol­o­gist Ed­die Sheerr (not a New­found­land name I don’t think). He too is danc­ing across the screen like a jack-in-the-box and it seems like he is try­ing to out-do Ryan with his toys and gad­gets, twicks, tweets and blogs.

When I started my ca­reer in the me­dia at CJON tele­vi­sion back in the 50s, Don Jamieson was the weather man. He used a piece of chalk and a map of New­found­land and Labrador be­hind him. He did the job re­mark­ably well and was the talk of the prov­ince for years. We got the weather for the next few days in a few chalk strokes and that did the job. No glitz, no glam­our.

When I joined CBC Tele­vi­sion in the mid-60s it was the same. Sim­ple, short to the point and thank­fully un­clut­tered. Years later, Karl Wells be­came ex­tremely pop­u­lar.

It seems the death of sim­plic­ity is here and whether (no pun) we like it or not, we are stuck with the bo­nanza of new tech­nol­ogy.

Those good ‘ole days are worth re­mem­ber­ing. In the mean­time I will try and put up with it and when all fails I will check the leaves on the trees in my gar­den. If they are wet it’s rain­ing, white it is snow­ing and blow­ing it is windy. It’s called K.I.S — keep­ing it sim­ple.

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