Scratches

Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Name:
Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

55 inches of snow...so?

ABC News is all agog about the 55 inch snowfall since, I think, New Years Day in Fulton, NY. The inhabitants are playing up to the cameras, and we're getting lots of (ahem) "shocking*" pictures of five-foot tall people standing chin-deep in their driveways and busily shoveling in front of their houses.

The point is, you can see the houses.

Fulton, Oswego, and environs are Ground Zero for lake effect snow. The whole county makes Buffalo look like Palm Springs. Fifty-five inches of snow is bupkis in a region that frequently sees four feet of snow in 24 hours. In February, 2007, parts of Oswego County had ten feet of snow from one storm, over a similar period. Whole houses disappeared and people were clearing their roofs with snowblowers.

I don't know whether this week's story originated with some Oswego County opportunist, or with a New York City producer who said "go get me a snow story." Either way, it's a good illustration of the value of context. Or, putting it another way, of the old adage about not letting facts get in the way of a good story.

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* Speaking of facts. Journalism classes regularly mock adjectives that the news overuses, and "shocking" generally heads the list. Should we consider it shocking that most journalism graduates forget the lessons immediately upon graduating? Stay tuned.

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3 Comments:

Blogger sjt said...

Well said.

I live in Oswego County and drove through many parts of Fulton today. It looked as it always looks at this time of year. There was nothing unusual to see for those of us who, for one reason or another, make this area our home.

sjt

4:42 am  
Blogger crispix67 said...

Yep,yep,yep. Been there, done that, lived there, I can remember the front door being covered by snow so we had to go out the back porch to leave home. And my mom has pics of her standing on snow drifts touching the top of a telephone pole.

Now *that* I will give you, is snow. But you dealyt with it, you prepared, you helped your neighbors and family...and, you had fun in it. We used to go camping, sledding, snowmobiling, etc. They have friggin winter FESTIVALS in the middle of it all- celebrating the darn stuff.

4:47 am  
Blogger Uncle said...

SJT, it's beautiful country. My daughter did a clinical affiliation up there, lived in Fulton, and was introduced to Oswego's annual pool guessing when the snow pile at the dump would finally melt. It's all impressive by the standards of is northern New England native.

1:14 pm  

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