Weather Channel Claims “America’s Most Trusted News”
In what might be the weirdest development of marketing in modern history, The Weather Channel has dubbed itself "America's Most Trusted TV News Network." Seems odd for a broadcast company in the industry of predicting the future. How many times has your forecast been wrong? Scratch that... How many times have you been given a doom and gloom forecast only to see things weren't nearly as bad as the experts predicted? As the internet really invaded our daily lives with smartphones, and news to fit any narrative became instantly accessible 24/7, the weather really is the only thing we have to reach out for isn't it? The difference between what gets predicted and what actually transpires is usually a big leap of reality, but perhaps there's more to the story of weather broadcasting.
Is it all for ratings?
In the most simple terms, the higher a networks ratings are, the more they can charge for advertising. It has nothing to do with accuracy, trust, or any other fundamental trait a "news" broadcaster should aim for, it's all about how many eyeballs see that channel at any given moment in time. So do weather professionals like those at The Weather Channel see potential tragedies as a way to drum up business? Are they the ambulance chasing lawyers of broadcast?
Perhaps it's the reverse psychology method of broadcasting. They sell the doom and gloom, then when it doesn't happen in such a way, the public is so relieved they were wrong, they don't even call them out on it.
If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the ambulance chasing style of garnering ratings. We see it all the time. Segments that could be used to cover local matters, government, wasteful spending, overzealous city councilors, etc... but instead, they just repeat the national news you've already seen and read about. Shining lights on the worst in humanity just to keep your eyes glued to the screen.
All the same, if you take another look at that moniker, "America's Most Trusted TV News Network," it's not really saying they have a track record of being right. It's just saying more people trust the words of their anchors and meteorologists more than those on other TV news networks... ie - ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc... I'd believe that to an extent. While other news networks seem to lean to one political side or the other, The Weather Channel seems to not have a political bias. Instead, they sell, or more likely oversell the science of our weather.
Either way, I hate to see The Weather Channel declare itself a "news network." I swore off watching any news in late 2016, and I have to say it's been a good decision. Don't let anyone sell you drama for the purpose of selling commercials.