By Chris Gandy
I get it that farmers constantly talk about the weather. After all it is the single biggest determinant as to whether their businesses will have a good or lousy year. Farming business decisions can literally change on a daily basis as a result of this one factor over which they have no control. Little wonder it is a hot topic of conversation amongst this group.
Is it just me though or have you noticed how other groups in the community are jumping on the “weather bandwagon” and seemingly for strong commercial reasons? Take the television networks for instance.
As the networks embrace the need to offer 24 hour news service, their challenge seems to be in finding content from cheap sources. And once such a source is discovered, inevitably all the players in the game will gravitate to it. And what is that content source – well its the weather.
In the weather the networks have found a gift that just keeps on giving. It requires no journalistic skills to bring it their audiences, it charges no appearance fees and on any one day provides so many different perspectives from all over the planet.
To illustrate lets look at last Sunday’s 6.00 pm news on one of the major networks in Sydney. From what I know this is the highest rating bulletin for the Networks during the week and the news items ran like this:
- Bushfires in and around Sydney caused by the unseasonally high temperatures and strong hot winds
- Cross to the weather person who tells us a cool change is on the way to offer relief. Should be here by midnight
- The Australian Labour Party has a new leader
- Sydneysiders enjoying a warm spring day at the beach (cue file footage? of people surfing and sunbaking at Bondi)
- Cross to weather person who teases us by asking … “Will this warm weather continue next week, I tell you a little later”.
- Person shot and killed in an attempted holdup in a Fruit Shop
- Devastation from a cyclone in India (What, someone else is experiencing weather?)
- Some other story that went in one ear and out the other – I am now too busy worrying about the weather.
- Now to sport – Lead item is motor racing and how it was a race against time to finish the big all day event before the rains came because everyone was on “dry weather tyres”
- The Australian Rugby League team goes through its final training session in the heat before flying to London for the World Cup. Have they left enough time to acclimatise to the cold British conditions? Perish the thought.
- Off to a surfing competition in Portugal where Australians are doing well thanks to a strong swell being wiped up in the Atlantic by storms
- Finally to a full 5 minute Weather Report.
As I said, the weather is truly heaven sent for television networks. Hardly a true journalist is sight. No need to research or work up a story. No one to pay for the content. Life couldn’t be sunnier for a media owner.
About the author: Chris Gandy is the Principal and Founder of Cause and Effective , a group that aims to help leaders of cause-based organisations to deliver on their mission by providing insightful information and linking them with affordable subject matter experts. You can contact Chris here