Can broadcasters make better use of maps during hurricane coverage?
With the mini-radar map in the corner of the screen becoming a standard fixture on many cable networks, one must question the usefulness of such a feature. The map, by and large, is very small and is really only able to show a general, wide view of where the storm is.
Meanwhile, as is typical with hurricane coverage, there are scores of reporters stationed along the coast. The anchors and reporters often say things like “we’re 20 miles southwest of where Joe is,” but these statements are pretty hard to visualize for people not familiar with the area.
It would be helpful if maps were put to better use to show where each reporter is in relation to each other.
This could also include an online component with still photos of the live shot setup (it seems to becoming very common for the reporters to explain how their satellite truck and crew are arranged on site).
The online module could also include data such as wind speed and other status updates at each location, another factor that’s often hard to keep track of as networks jump from live shot to live shot.