Apologies...and an Explanation
I have posted and updated about all of the media hoopla that has surrounded the cicada emergence. And after two promised showings, the cicada piece on Good Morning America has not aired. Apologies to friends and family who have made a special effort to see the piece. You can see local coverage of the cicada story, including some brief footage of me from yesterday's early evening news on Channel 2 here. A transcript of a story that ran on Channel 5 can be found here. The story has proved problematic for the media for a couple of reasons. A formula, developed to predict the date of emergence of the 2004 brood east of here was applied to the Chicago area and a date of May 22 was calculated. This date was seized upon and repeated endlessly in both print and broadcast media. In some respects, the date prediction even proved to be fairly accurate- the first reports of cicada adults in the southwest suburbs started coming in Saturday evening. I'm anticipating, from early signs, that there will be large numbers of cicadas encountered in parts of the Chicago region (and throughout the range of Brood XII, which centers on northern Illinois). It's in the nature of most species of insects in this part of the world that they begin emerging, increase in numbers, gradually at first and then with increasing speed, over a period of a week or so. Unfortunately, from a media standpoint nobody wants to get left behind on a story. So everyone jumps on the earliest possible time to begin covering the story, and it appears when the phenomenon is still pretty unimpressive. By the time anything dramatic happens, it's old news already. Additionally, nuances like the fact that cicada densities are uneven tend to get lost in the hype. If the 1990 emergence is any guide, some places will see tons of cicadas, while other places even fairly close by will see few to none.
From the standpoint of someone being interviewed as an "expert" on the subject it's challenging- you have no control over what parts of the interview are kept and what parts are left on the cutting room floor. All of the caveats tend to be cut.
Will a piece on cicadas air on Good Morning America? At this point, I have no idea. I'd be willing to bet not. But after two false alarms, I'm probably not going to alert family and friends to take their valuable time trying to catch me on the tube. Again, my apologies to all.
Labels: Media Madness