What Is The Media’s Obsession With Snow?

Yes.  We get it.

It’s snowing.

This morning every TV and Radio channel I flicked to seemed to be screaming the weather at me: Snow is forecast.  It will fall from the sky and carpet the roads.  There will be some traffic disruption.  People will work from home.  Winter is coming.But let’s get come perspective here.  We don’t live in the world of Game of Thrones.  Snow doesn’t equal apocalypse… to be honest, it’s been a pretty standard annual event for the last five years.  So why are we so obsessed with talking about it (I realise that the fact I’m blogging about this is all highly ironic)…?

The Daily Express is one of the worst weather-story offenders with regular front page splashes dedicated to it.  And with the media shouting stories like  “COLDEST WINTER IN 100 YEARS ON WAY” and “SNOW CHAOS TO CRIPPLE BRITAIN WITH -15C WEATHER PREDICTED” it’s not really surprising that the country grinds to a halt and people decide to work from home.

Back in 2009 when the sky suddenly dumped a foot of snow across most of Great Britain without warning, I agree there was a snow-story to be told.  Motorways became car parks, people slept in shopping centres – that was a proper snow day.  Maybe the media feels a sense of guilt for the lack of warning about that occasion, and since then has been trying to make up for it by ringing the alarm bells as soon as there is even a sniff of a flake.  But it gets people really jumpy.

Reading, Berks, February 2009

Reading, Berks, February 2009

It got fairly laughable this morning, I watched a news reporter, dressed as if for the Arctic, on the streets of London reporting that there was currently no snow.  A snow report about no snow.  I couldn’t help but snort over my porridge.

Social media isn’t helping the sense of hysteria either.  Facebook is filled with excited posts about “Snow Days”, Instagram gets clogged with snow pictures, and #uksnow trends on Twitter (you can even get it as an iPhone app for heaven’s sake)… we can track the spread of the white stuff without even looking out of our window.

It’s not a surprise the us Brits just love talking about the weather, but we really do need to get a grip on reality and some perspective.  Prepare for snow, obviously, check weather forecasts, look out of the window, make sure you’ve got a blanket and food in your car.  But it is highly unlikely that you’ll need to stock-pile tinned food…

The media fan the flames of our obsession, and we do so even more by driving conversation about them on social networks, so really we’ve only got ourselves to blame…

The thing to remember is that in a few days it will all melt away and the predicted chaos will be forgotten.  We’ll go back to talking about rain.



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