There was a time when television was a one-way medium. We talk. You listen. I’m not taking about ancient history here, either. As recent as ten years ago, TV was clearly made for the coach potato – but not anymore.
Never was this more true than Sunday morning where freezing temperatures and heavy morning rain turned the local roads into ice rinks. Allegheny county 9-1-1 got 478 traffic calls and the parkways were shut down by PennDot.
While traffic was at a standstill and the region was frozen by, literally, the “perfect storm”, two things happened that kept the crash count from going even higher. First, the fact it was a Sunday morning and not a weekend morning with much more traffic. Second, the drivers in this region had the viewers of channel 4.
While we broadcasted non-stop Sunday morning and even had reporters calling in, we had more than one extra pair of eyes and ears. We had viewers calling us, e-mailing our website and letting us know what was happening all over the region. We had viewers who saw trouble in their neighborhood and after getting off the road, got in touch with us. As Ashlie Hardway reported today, we got dozens of e-mails alerting us to what was happening and allowing us to warn others.
Slick roads, icy conditions made for a dangerous Sunday for local motorists. It could have been worse, if not for you. ( Courtesy: Guy Wathen, Trib )
That is really the “perfect storm” and the perfect combination. While we are the broadcasters and the journalists, you are the people who live life everyday and see everything. You know your towns, your streets and your communities. You have a vested interest in your region and responded as such on Sunday.
A TV station is no longer a one-way street. It’s a community resource and a center of common discourse and discussion. It is a place where, either verbally or electronically, ideas are exchanged and information is passed. In the end, a TV station is a public resource and its only as effective as the citizens who use it.
Sunday, you used it to its fullest potential. Congratulations … and thanks!