All four Atlanta TV stations covered an official bus tour of the city’s tornado damaged areas. They focused on Vine City, whose residents are less protected by insurance. What we saw:
Richard Elliott on WSB provided a very by-the-numbers look at the tour, with nothing especially memorable. He identified tourgoer Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, as an afterthought.
Clarence Reynolds on WXIA inexplicably focused on the city council members who toured the affected neighborhoods, giving them time to grandstand on camera. The audience learned little from his report.
Joanna Massee on WGCL, by far, told the best story. With lots of “oh my gosh”-type natural sound, crisp editing and nice writing– she gave a much needed human touch to a story that was stilted and uninteresting elsewhere. But WGCL needs to be slapped, too: What’s the point of having Massee do a live shot after midnight (late because of basketball) in a dark neighborhood, many hours after the tour ended? Same with Jennifer Mayerle, who was live in East Atlanta at 12:15am, fronting a story that had been shot in daylight. Is it just me, or do most viewers cringe a little when they see such stuff?