As I finally fell asleep after a long night of huddling with my family in case the big storm did hit, I went to bed grateful for the abundance of media coverage available in the Golden Trianlge that kept me in the loop.
Columbus and Starkville were on high alert all day yesterday, as thunderstorms and tornadoes ripped through our state. Most areas in Mississippi were spared any major damage or injury- the situation could have been much worse.
Throughout the day, local news outlets in print, television and social media prepared us for the worst. WCBI and WTVA interrupted local broadcasts when the storm got close, and supplemented their coverage on both social media and websites (WCBI, in particular, dominated coverage on Twitter. Kudos to Robby Donoho and Joey Barnes for giving up-to-the-second updates when the broadcast was going in and out-CK.)
For an area as relatively small and rural as we may seem, we are blessed to have so much media available. WCBI-TV is based in Columbus, and WTVA-TV has a full time crew for the GTR as well. We also have an abundance of print coverage, with The Commercial Dispatch, Starkville Daily News, Daily Times-Leader for daily and semi-daily papers and the both the Columbus Packet and Macon Beacon, both known state-wide for their presence in the weekly segment.
I doubt there is any area with a population our size in the Deep South that is served so thoroughly. This kind of coverage – regardless of anyone’s interpretation of political leanings or quality – helps contribute to a better business climate. Those who want to be in the know, who want to be informed, can get information.
I encourage you all to do what you can to pay attention to the local news, to digest it, and to maybe reach out and participate in it. As a former newsman, I can tell you that the main reason events, good deeds, or nefarious activities go unnoticed in the news is because nobody reached out to the media. The more good news that is out there, the better it is for business.
If you see something- say something… good, bad, or otherwise. We’ve got enough news to go around, take advantage of it…or it could go away.