A flurry of snow and the country grinds to a halt? Well, not really. We’ve had severe weather conditions with deep snow and local councils have certainly been working continuously to try and clear the roads. Schools have been closed, some have been ‘partially’ open, others have opened, then as conditions have deteriorated, closed half way through the day. It’s chaotic, but understandable.
Being relatively close to the sea, I have had hardly a flutter close to home; much to the annoyance of the kids. But both go to school a fair distance away (in opposite directions too, natch) and both schools have had varying degrees of snowfall and hassle. Social networking sites really come into their own. Individuals can end up doing a better job at keeping folks up to date with the real situation on the ground than large organisations.
Checking regularly (and contributing to postings) on Facebook and Twitter enabled me to monitor and keep safe those family members who were out in it. I was also able to advise them and plan my own journeys based upon what people shared about the weather conditions.
There were also the inevitable leg-pulling posts about how hopeless the UK is at managing ‘a bit of’ snow. The Independent ran a fairly scathing report, quoting parents complaining about how difficult it is to cope when the school suddenly closes. On my personal blog I posted a photo of a snow warning sign that was put on a completely clear pavement. Pals in Canada and Scotland endulged in some light-hearted leg-pulling.
Then this afternoon, reports came in that a school bus carrying 40 pupils had slid off the road up in the snowy area in the Preseli hills, trying to take the children home after more snow fell. The school had been closed and partially closed, but today it was open – but when it started snowing again, the decision was taken to send pupils home early.
It was a minor incident, no-one thankfully was hurt, but a youngster who had been on the bus started posting photos and comments and I felt a bit shocked. It just didn’t feel funny anymore.
Once I had gained permission to share the photos – I posted them onto Twitter. Then things got a bit interesting. A couple of journalists I know DM’d and asked to use the pictures. I requested they hang fire until I had the express permission from the mum to pass the pictures to the mainstream media. Which I duly did, and passed the permission on. One said not to worry because they had been sent the picture directly. The other said they’d wait for me to come back to them. Which I did, within a matter of minutes.
The young reporter was referred to – and her Snow Bus Drama pictures shown – on the local TV news.
But – when it comes to online – I’m reviewing the websites now. The same picture – but two different names – depending on which news outlet I view. Apparently someone else had emailed a photo – identical to the one I had spotted on FB – to the local TV and newspapers. It kind of brings me out in a rash, seeing the same pictures on all the local news outlets, but credited to two different people. Or is my OCD flaring up again?
Not a big scandal, but I really felt strongly that this young citizen journalist deserved her moment. And a couple of hours later, I still feel that.