Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Memphis Weather News

From Peg comes the word that former FOX13 chief meteorologist Jim Jaggers will be joining...wait for it...WREG, NewsChannel 3! I can't imagine how a local uber-personality like Jaggers will integrate with the lower-key team of Simpson and Onek, but we'll see. Will this mean the hook for weekend forecaster Wendy Nations, she of the lovely red hair and high-wattage smile?

Peg also says that former WMC anchor Mearl Purvis will take Claudia Barr's chair. Purvis is before my time in Memphis, so no comment.

The still-open slot at FOX13 for chief metereologist? It's a swap. Joey Sulipeck, who has been filling in weekends at NewsChannel 3, will be taking that spot, formerly Jaggers', according to SouthTVNews.

Musical chairs in the Memphis market.

One passage that caught my eye in Peg's post was this:
Finally, today, Newsblues published what I've known (and most of my newsroom has known) for days and in some cases, weeks.
The folks who regularly demand transparency and access from those they cover are famously opaque and tight-lipped about themselves. This has always bothered me. Qui custodiet custodians: who watches the watchmen?

I've had this discussion with some media folks before and it never goes anywhere. Naturally, they can't run with stories they can't confirm, even if "everyone knows." And even though the other media outlets are their competition, ones they are loathe to even acknowledge most of the time, they still proffer a gentleman's agreement about each others' internal affairs.

So, how are we the public supposed to know what's going on with the folks who decide what we'll see and hear? You can subscribe to media news sources like the ones above, if you have the money. You can make friends with a media person and they'll sometimes share the dirt with you. But if you don't have that, you're stuck!

There used to be a Memphis media web source, but that closed not long after it opened a couple of years or so ago, and the archives were pulled, too.

I've been hoping to get Half-Bakered into that area some day. Not to dish dirt so much as to give the public access to the behind-the-scenes actions and decisions and personalities that determine what you see. But for an anti-social misanthrope like me, that's not easy.

I understand the corporate and professional pressures that keep a lot of media folks from talking about their jobs on blogs. The very folks who most value, and traffic in, the free flow of information are often the most tight-fisted about it. One local news producer once told me that s/he wouldn't post stories on their station website because s/he was afraid those stories would be stolen from them. (I'm not naming them because it was in an email on a different topic. Fair warning before disclosure is my rule. You can tell I'm not a professional reporter?) It's hypocritical, but understandable. That's why I treasure someone like Peg, who is not only remarkably open in her blog but also a very nice person. If only there were more like her.

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