Is there any doubt that the overwhelming inclination of major media outlets in today’s hyper-competitive environment is to put ratings above responsibility? Survival is at stake. The problem is that as the coverage of Irene makes clear, lives are also at stake. The article above points out, what happens when a Category 5 storm hits and people don’t respond because every Category 1 storm before that has had Category 5 coverage? They won’t evacuate, they won’t prepare, they won’t respond. We know that perfectly good reputations and careers have been destroyed by this kind of ratings-first coverage. We may soon find that more than careers have been lost.