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Weather News



Personal Notes



Observers and Volunteers

Meteorology on Television
Broadcasting From the Weather Room
Direct Radio Broadcasts of Weather Information
Weather on Commercial Television in Melbourne
Meteorology in the Television Programme
TV Weather Adelaide
TV Weather Brisbane
TV Weather Hobart
TV Weather Melbourne
TV Weather Report
TV Weather Sydney
Public Appreciation—TV Weather Services
Bureau—Media Workshops in Melbourne and Perth
'Meet the Met' on Video



Contact us
No. 250 July 1980, Item 3151 (continued)

Perth workshop

A very full program of discussion items necessitated the Perth workshop extending over two days. Nineteen representatives of the ABC, two commercial TV stations, five commercial radio stations, daily and weekend press, ethnic radio, the WA Institute of Technology, Telecom and the SES attended.

A welcome innovation to the workshop was a visit by Bureau representatives to the two commercial television stations where an appreciation was gained of the technicalities involved in preparing and presenting the weather information.

Another interesting departure from the routine was a questionnaire on weather terminology prepared by A/ADS Bob Southern, which served to emphasise the difficulties of terminology to those attending the workshop.

Bureau speakers included DIR John Zillman, who opened the workshop, Bob Southern, A/RD Len Broadbridge, PRO Trevor Farrar and Kevin Lynch of the WA RO. Some of the more interesting thoughts expressed by the media representatives during the workshop included:

  • the ability of the general public to understand 'in depth' weather was doubtful; a simple weather presentation was the most suitable;
  • it would be advantageous for cadet reporters to undertake an elementary course in meteorology; also desirable that forecasters visit media premises to gain an insight into problems of weather presentation, and it would be beneficial for the Trainee Meteorologists' course to include lectures by media people, and instruction on writing for and speaking on the media;
  • the Bureau should take more initiative in making newsworthy items available to the media;
  • a US survey showed that weather is the third 'most listened to' news item.

Barrie Barkla, the weather presenter on STW9, gave a stimulating talk on 'Television and weather'. Here are his concluding remarks:

Australians have become chronic weather junkies. Some people have an urgent need to know but others, whose daily exposure to the hazards of the open air is limited to three minutes between the car park and the office lobby, are also curious to the verge of anxiety. If a person knows what the weather is going to do he measures his responses accordingly because it gives him the illusion of some control over the situation. Fore-knowledge mitigates the tyranny of nature. But if the weather does not behave as predicted, he is more than just let down, he is reminded that when it comes to controlling his environment man is no more advanced with the weather than his Stone Age ancestors. The complaints received when something unexpected happens overnight arise from ignorance of the causes and a feeling of incapacity to do anything about it. As a weather reporter I try to dispel some of the darkness clouding the subject, not by prophesying the gospel of the 3 pm bulletin, but by laying open as clearly as I can the salient reasons for the present situation and the most probable outcome as you Bureau people describe it.

Fourteen months ago I came to the Bureau with a job to do and no knowledge. The discovery process for me has been fascinating. I deliberately come to the Bureau each afternoon knowing nothing, assuming that most of my viewers, like me, do not understand why the weather is behaving like it is and then each night I try to take my viewers on the same path of discovery you people take me each afternoon. If the viewers find their discovery as rewarding as I do mine, and they seem to, then I think I can say my job has been well done. Until tomorrow night.

People in Bright Sparcs - Zillman, John William

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