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Weather in newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Baltimore Sports Guy, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. What does everyone thing about the weather maps and information that's run in newspapers? How much of it, if any, is actually valuable to the reader? What are other papers doing with the weather package?

    My paper is looking at changing our page 2 where the weather is. We took the national map and cities listing out to promote some stuff on our Web site and got a few phone calls about it. Now we're trying to decide what it is they miss, the map, the listing of cities, both and if it's worth putting it back in.
     
  2. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    My feeling's always been that the most important information in our weather listings are the river depths and lake temperatures. The hardcore fishermen love (and need) that info.
     
  3. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    The newspaper I'm at revamped that page to a "World Briefly" page.  It's also got an index regarding what's actually in the newspaper.  We run a VERY small weather.  It's the high, low, and rainfall from the previous day, and a monthly rainfall total that is compared to the historical rainfall average (which hasn't been updated since..ohh.. probably 1977).

    People seem to like what we have because they can look at it and say "Yep, it was 117 degrees yesterday, just like I thought it was." (I am exaggerating, some, but not much!)
     
  4. Apex

    Apex Member

    Our paper runs the weather on the back page of the local news section, which I think is a convenient place. I've always felt listing the weather in cities around the globe is interesting, and people like to look at it, checking the weather in places where people they know are visiting.
     
  5. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Both, probably, although the map was probably missed by more people. With it, you can figure out what the weather over the next few days might be at a glance.
     
  6. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    A redesign where the readers got less information?

    No! Say it isn't so!
     
  7. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    The weather map and city grid that run below it are two of the things I most consistenly read in any newspaper I pick up. I like the map to see the trends across the country in a glance, and I like to use the city list to see what the weather is like back home, other places I've lived and where friends and family are.

    I may not spend a whole lot of time on that page, but I'd be mighty annoyed if either piece went away. I'd say put 'em both back, if you can.

    Of course the most important thing on there is what the local weather is going to be like.
     
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I read weather, too.

    I know the focus group stuff is mainly b.s., but for what it's worth, when local news stations do research, the number one reason people say they watch local news is for weather. I would think the same would be true of why people might pick up the local paper.

    With the environment becoming a hot topic lately-- especially as it relates to global warming (valid or not)-- I would think now would be as vital a time as ever to publish the weather page.
     
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    In their last redesign the Dallas Morning News moved its weather page from the back page of the Metro section to page 2 of one of their new sections and changed the landscape of it from vertical to horizontal. Before the change you could just flip to the back of the metro without taking the paper apart and get a quick look at the forecast. After the change you had to hunt for the new section, pull it out and open it to find the weather.

    Of all the changes they made to the paper they caught so much hell for that one that they moved the weather back to the back of the Metro section and essentially apologized in print for making the change in the first place.
     
  10. OneMoreRead

    OneMoreRead Member

    For that reason, it's the first thing my kids go to in our paper.
     
  11. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Another stunning shock. But that's what happens when you put non-readers in charge of things like that.
     
  12. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    At my first paper they did a touchup of a redesign (sup, DyePack) a few years ago, and among the changes was moving the weather package from the back page of the metro section to the back page of the business. They advertised it for weeks before pulling the trigger.

    And oh, Martha, the calls the paper got in those first few days. People were convinced we had gotten rid of the weather entirely, and even when they found it, they were angry that we upset their schedule like that.

    You would think that weather would be the most irrelevant part of the daily newspaper (it'd be bad enough if you waited until the late evening/night forecast from the NWS/Weather Central/whatever, but since they're all pretty and graphic-y [sup again, Dye], the page gets done at 4 p.m.). But you know something, people LOVE that shit. Who knew right.
     
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