Lack of Social Media Awareness and Tools Has Local TV News Failing Consumers In A Crisis

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A complete failure to keep up with technological advances and the needs of the citizenry via social media tools and citizen journalism applications is making Atlanta TV stations look like media dino imbeciles… at a time when they could be serving the community in a real-time way.

Bless their heart, WXIA is trying to let people know, via a map on TV and on their website, WHERE available gas is in the city, but when I checked it, the citizens’ posts located under the map appear to have been last updated yesterday. And not everyone looking at the site might not know to click-on the green or red arrows to see when info at that particular arrow/place was last updated.

Besides, when you do click on a green arrow for a particular station, you see that it/the info was, in some cases, last updated 20 hours ago! Or was presented/updated to show NO gas about 2-hours ago, yet the arrow remains green in color. (For “Go” presumably.) But hey, bad information is better than NO information? In this particular case, I think not.

Today, half hour ago, is when I heard from a friend, via Facebook, that he was stranded in Alpharetta and couldn’t find gas anywhere. I tried to use the WXIA map to tell him something, anything, but it didn’t work out so great.

Forget the online environment for a sec… in a broadcast environment can you explain what is the point of showing a reporter stand beside a blown-up, yet inaccurate Google map on a flat screen TV? During the noon show, the reporter gave absolutely no timely info about his large map with stickpins in it at all, other than to say to check it out online. But again, the map is inaccurate, no matter how you blow it up!

Come on local TV, folks in Atlanta have been Twittering about gas shortages and lines and availability for five days now! But I suppose we should stay on-topic with this post and not get too far ahead of the aging dino-curve of a local TV news station’s online capability, or lack thereof.

The big three stations, WSB, WXIA, and WAGA all have links to some very convoluted site that is trying to keep up with gas prices via the citizenry. But if you can’t FIND gas in real-time, then the price becomes, of course, irrelevant.

Shame. This kinda simple, participatory info from citizenry, via social media tools, should have been in place in our local TV broadcast stations ages ago. A crisis is no time to play catch-up, but rest assured, they’ll be scrambling to incorporate social media and the citizenry now. Bless their hearts.

And I can’t even bare to go to AJC.com to see what’s not available there. OK, I confess. I did. This is what passes for real-time consumer information there. I swear I’m not making this up.

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4 responses »

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  2. OK. So when the MSM failed to direct you and your stranded friend to a gas station, did your Twittering / social networking skills produce the desired happy ending? Or was that info also sadly out of date? Just askin.’

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