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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Post ombudsman talks weather

By Jason Samenow

In case you missed it, in last Sunday's paper, the Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander offered commentary on the Post's weather strategy: The Post's bid for the weather audience

Here's a short excerpt:

For decades, TV stations have built brand loyalty by promoting weather forecasters as personalities. Higher ratings translate to higher advertising rates. Now, The Post and area rivals are trying to do the same thing digitally.
Enter the Capital Weather Gang, a small group of professional meteorologists and amateur weather enthusiasts who provide most of the locally focused content for The Post's weather Web site.

See also this commentary on Alexander's piece from Jack Williams, who served as USA Today's weather editor for more than 20 years: Washington Post upgrades Web weather

By Jason Samenow  | December 17, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Tranquil but cold
Next: Next chance of light snow: Tuesday


I have been a loyal CWG reader for several years, and I can say that the recognition is well-deserved. Congrats!!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | December 17, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I did indeed come across that article in the print section last Sunday. It's great that CWG is getting some good press. Jack Williams' write-up sums it all up perfectly with his tombstone analogy (which really hits the nail on the head). Reading about weather in a more personalized context makes it ten times more captivating. Your knack for getting more people interested in meteorology as a science definitely holds true for me. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: meteorolinguist | December 17, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Truly, best of "all the rest". My DC friends all rely on me to monitor CWG & keep them up to date-from Texas ! Kudos to the CWG staff & loyal contributors.

Posted by: TXMary | December 18, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I have some thoughts on this. Wasn’t going to say anything because of the cult like following here, and all the talk is about snow. But now that you mention it, I feel like I can post this as discussing the matter thoughtfully and in a separate post.

The piece is complimentary, as well it should be. CWG is great.

But there’s a hint of criticism too. Although he did not write this at his blog, Omblog, Alexander is the Post’s ombudsman, and they normally address problem areas.

Alexander quotes Brian Mullin, who says,

“News organizations are eager to exploit weather online because they "realize that the top places people go to on the Web are news and weather…"

Exploit has a positive meaning but also means:

1. to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc.), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends

Also, he writes:

“The Post will not publicly disclose online audience figures for its weather site."


“A sometimes-quirky blog”

Some could take that as a lack of professionalism.

I have to admit I sometimes feel funny when there are buddy, buddy, exchanges between you guys and the audience. Sometimes objective analysis can be affected by the desire to please the audience, and the old school journalists shy away from this approach.

But CWG is doing something right, and you have always given confidence levels. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: jaybird926 | December 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@jaybird926 @TxMary @meteorolinguist and @david

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 18, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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