Thursday, May 15, 2008

Out Of Season

Early in my broadcasting career, a tornado tore through the community where Becky and I lived and worked for WCDR radio. Soon after the storm blew past, I jumped into the station's news truck (really just a Ford Econoline van) and drove into Xenia, Ohio where the damage was the greatest. That was my first experience of figuring out what it meant to be a broadcaster in the midst of tragedy.

Many years later, on September 11, 2001, I was in my office when the nation was struck by terrorists. I spent the next several days working with the team at Moody Broadcasting and anchoring much of Moody's coverage of that event. One listener responded by saying that they first turned to the all news station to get the facts, then quickly returned to Christian radio to get God's perspective on the crisis.

I thought of all this as I've been listening to NPR's coverage of the earthquake in China. "All Things Considered" hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block are in Sichuan Province covering the massive earthquake. Not knowing that an earthquake was about to happen, the hosts were in Chengdu with producers Andrea Hsu and Art Silverman when the earth shook. They were preparing for a special week of China coverage that had been planned for next week, but quickly transitioned to coverage of the crisis. I haven't heard all of their reports yet, but plan to listen to as much online as I can. Their blog, Chengdu Diary, is extremely interesting and informative.

This is a good reminder to me and all broadcasters that we need to be prepared at all times. Paul told Timothy, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season". Whether we are preaching or merely reporting, as broadcasters we sure need to be ready at all times to serve listeners, even when it catches us out of season.

May God comfort those who are suffering unbearable pain and loss this week.



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