Some of the TV networks have faced a backlash on social media for putting their journalists’ lives at risk to cover the natural disaster in North Queensland that is Cyclone Debbie.
The last 24 hours saw reporters telling local residents to evacuate and bunker down as the cyclone approached.
However, journos on the ground in North Queensland have been doing anything but, bracing themselves against lashing winds and heavy rainfall to claim the best coverage of Debbie and position their respective TV network as the number one for news.
— ABC News (@abcnews) March 28, 2017
The backlash of the reporters’ desperate actions was rife across Twitter:
If anyone’s going to be killed by Cyclone Debbie it’s a reporter standing outside telling people not to stand outside. #oxymorons
— Dan Anstey (@Dan_Anstey) March 28, 2017
everyone stay inside, except for reporters doing live crosses #CycloneDebbie
— Dave Krantz (@weskrantz) March 27, 2017
— Peter (@MorphyMagic) March 28, 2017
Reporter to person outside during Cyclone Debbie: “Why are you outside risking your life?”
Next scene: Reporter outside risking life.
— Sam D (@SamDickfos) March 28, 2017
Looking forward to the new commercial TV innovation where they actually send a reporter into the eye of the cyclone attached to a rope.
— Rick Morton (@SquigglyRick) March 28, 2017
My twitter feed is full of pictures of a channel 7 news reporter looking ridiculous standing outside in the middle of Cyclone Debbie pic.twitter.com/TojgPh6uHW
— Georgia Emily ? (@Georgia_Emily98) March 28, 2017
Seven reporter Edwina Bartholomew did her best to quell the online criticism:
Lots of commentary online (and from my Mum) about our cyclone reporting. I want to show you a shot of the location @katrinablowers and I have been broadcasting from. It’s a Cat 5 rated building with the door only slightly open. It’s a Catch 22. We do want to cover the news for work but most importantly we want to be safe #tcdebbie
A post shared by Edwina Bartholomew (@edwina_b) on
Not all the focus was on what was happening outdoors though, with one Seven reporter prompting this gem of a comment from a local:
— Chris White (@ytboy7) March 28, 2017