Meteorologist: Social media has changed my job
October 5, 2018
Ken Johnson, First Alert meteorologist for Channel 6 News, spoke about his position, responsibilities, and how social media played a role with each in the Legacy Multipurpose Room for the last session of the Social Media Day
“I got into this business because I love weather,” Johnson said. “Especially in times when it’s bad outside. If any meteorologist came and told you they didn’t like bad weather they would be lying.”
Johnson also told the audience he had a meteorologist degree. With looking at the computer statistics and maps, he can make his own educated predictions instead of relying only on technology.
“It is all my forecast. Everything you see top to bottom – all numbers are done by me,” Johnson said.
Media has advanced in the past 20 years. With the change in media, jobs have had to adapt to the culture.
“We have gone from getting our weather 24 hours later, to getting it a couple times a day, to getting it anytime of the day as long as we are at home, and now we can get news and weather wherever we want as long as we have cell phone service,” Johnson said.
Johnson and his news station has created a phone application to give people a more immediate access. He has even started using Facebook chat to give specific people the answers they would like.
“I thought it was interesting how he is actually involved in social media not just meteorology,” Brittni Vilandre, marketing junior, said. “He actually gets involved with his audience instead of just sitting on the screen.”
Midwestern digital marketing and social media manager A.J. Lopez III also attended this session.
“It’s interesting how meteorologist have taken social media and made it their own,” Lopez said. “When we know there is a thunderstorm I can get on Facebook and see a live cast.”
Media added responsibilities to meteorologist Johnson said. He said it adds some accountability, because people just want to complain.
“People automatically assume if one person gets it wrong everybody gets it wrong,” Johnson said. “The problem is people don’t remember the ones we get right.”