For once I'm glad NOT to be on hurricane watch. That's saying alot. I'm one of those camera-packing nimrods who loves nothing more than rushing to the coast as a tempest with a title sends everyone else scurrying inland. What a kick! But Katrina has all the markings of 'The Big One' - a swirling monster that could turn the Big Easy into a wreckage-choked cess pool. As always, the media isn't letting the doomsday scenarios stop them from setting up sat truck outposts along the shore, all the better to frame up frothy waves and battered sea-oats behind rain-slickered correspondents.
In a way, I don't blame them. After all, a Category Five storm slamming into a historic, low-lying city will no doubt offer the opportunity for some truly spectacular footage. But at what price?
So far the media has been damn lucky. Despite all the seaside histrionics, no crews have ever been serfiously hurt while covering a hurricane (as far as I know). To date, the biggest victim has been the dignity of all those over-emoting reporters who cling to light poles while surfers and looky-loos loiter in the background. Hopefully, thazt less than lethal trend will continue. The very strength of Katrina should preclude some coverage. After all, transmitter dishes cannot withstand 170 mile per hours winds and sat trucks don't float. But knowing the renegade nature of your average highly-competitive news crew, I'm more than a little worried. Please everyone, stay safe. No shot is worth going home in a box.