This morning I turned on the TV at 8am to watch the TVM news bulletin, assuming that I was going to get the latest updates on the havoc caused yesterday by the storms.
Instead, what I saw was a repeat of last night’s news. There was not even a halfhearted attempt to camouflage this by, for example, editing the voiceover of the newscaster to say ‘yesterday’ instead of ‘today’. Nope. Someone just said ‘roll tape’ and they simply replayed what was shown at 8pm last night.
This is simply unacceptable from our national station. Over the last few days it should have been providing those who are not Internet users with a much-needed national service, but it failed miserably.
On a day like yesterday, the usual repeats and teleshopping should have been scrapped and live feeds should have kept us continuously informed about what was happening. We should have had the newsroom issuing regular bulletins, repeatedly telling people to stay at home. But of course, TV stops in summer and there is no live programming.
How thoughtless of the storm to have hit Malta now rather than say, 3 October, when the fall TV season starts. Then we would have had all the breakfast shows (not just TVM’s) eager to tell us what was happening.
To be fair, radio stations were giving quite a good service, but shouldn’t we demand the same from TVM? TV should be the primary source for our news, but lately it seems to have been left miles behind either through a reluctance to embrace the rich resource of social media networks, or else through sheer apathy.
No wonder that these days, for those who are constantly online, it is Facebook which is keeping everyone informed of the traffic situation when a crisis situation unfolds. Thank God for Maltese Roads Traffic Updates, an excellent page which uses interaction with its over 9000 members via SMS and photos which people send from their mobiles.
Bay Radio have a similar service on Facebook with their page Bay Easy and yesterday they were also providing much-needed information and photos sent by the public of which areas were the hardest hit.
If TVM refuses to move with the times and adamantly insists on conveying news in its traditional news slots even during an emergency situation, then the least it could do is make sure that the news bulletin it is transmitting is live and not yesterday’s news.