“Don’t be an idiot” and other sage advice for those of you covering hurricanes

Next week, I’m hoping to have a few interviews with student journalists from Texas who have been diligently covering Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. In the mean time, enjoy this legendary memo from the Miami Herald’s Martin Merzer. It echoes two of the things we noted in the book about covering crime and disasters:

  1. Be calm. A panicking reporter is a useless reporter.
  2. Be safe. A dead reporter isn’t much better than a panicking reporter.

You might never cover a hurricane, but you will cover a disaster or a crime, so allow the mortician’s humor to buoy you as you understand the core values here: Preparation, safety, innovation and audience service.

Enjoy this classic in all its glory.

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