A number of news organisations were criticised on social media on Wednesday for sending journalists to report in the path of Hurricane Ian.
In one such case, member of the Fox Weather team, Robert Ray, struggled to make it through a live report in severe wind and rain in Fort Myers.
“It’s really coming in right now, Neil, and it is tough to even speak, and I’m sorry … as we take the wrath of Ian coming into Fort Myers, and we can hear the sounds in the distance — pops, snaps — we need to be careful, things are getting dangerous here,” Ray said.
A number of observers wondered about Ray’s safety.
“It’s wild that with all the technology/social media we have, we still force people to do this,” one person tweeted in response to a clip of the video posted on Twitter.
The Weather Channel also had reporters on the ground in coastal Florida struggling to complete their reports, as did other news organisations.
“Dude get inside and point your finger out of the window bruh,” a person on Twitter wrote in response to a clip of a report on The Weather Channel that ended with the reporting telling the host that “we’re going to regroup and get into a safer place.”
Some observers were sceptical about the news value of reports from the ground in the midst of a storm like Hurricane Ian, suggesting that the presence of reporters in the path of the storm was more to entertain that inform viewers — especially given the availability of technology to capture images from the storm without putting people in harm’s way.
“Ridiculous,” another person tweeted about the Fox clip. “Its all fun and profits until a reporter gets swept away.”
The Independent has reached out to Fox News and The Weather Channel for comment on this story.