When big news breaks over a weekend– as was the case with the Atlanta tornado– Sunday’s late news should be a good time for viewers to see the coverage at its best. Viewership is high, and the chaos of Friday night and Saturday has settled somewhat. Here’s what a look-see of local TV reveals:
WAGA’s 10 o’clock news had a single breathtaking photo– shot by a local professional photographer named Shane Durrance– of the tornado perched over downtown. It was apparently shot from Howell Mill Rd. The photo is magnificent. I didn’t see it on any other news; however, one hour later, WXIA posted the same photo on its website. The funnel is on the left, just to the right of the NationsBank tower.
WSB’s 11pm news had two pieces of surveillance video, shot during the storm at two downtown buildings. Both clips were excellent. No other station appeared to have it. A separate report had two more pieces of home video of the storm, also apparently exclusive. The surprise is that there isn’t more of this homemade video.
WXIA’s 10pm news was middling by comparison. There was an exceedingly dull live v/o by a reporter, tossing to sound from a police spokeswoman (all live v/o-sots should be banished unless done under duress). WXIA redeemed itself with a package by Jerry Carnes in Cabbagetown. Carnes is a skilled writer and storyteller for whom this kind of story is made. He had emotional material and showcased it without being maudlin or overwrought.