Diegnan: NJTV failed miserably during Hurricane Irene coverage | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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Diegnan: NJTV failed miserably during Hurricane Irene coverage

diegnanPatrick041411_optHe wants assurance it won't happen again

NJTV, New Jersey’s new public broadcasting station, was missing in action when it came to coverage of Hurricane Irene, leading Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Jr. (D-Middlesex) on Wednesday to call for the state to revisit the contract to ensure adequate coverage for future emergencies.

“NJTV has failed their first test miserably,” Diegnan said. “While Hurricane Irene was battering our state, NJTV was airing cartoons and cooking shows. They couldn’t send a reporter to cover any of the governor’s press briefings.

“This is more than an embarrassment, it’s a disgrace,” Diegnan continued. “The people of New Jersey deserve better. Our taxpayers are subsidizing NJTV’s operations and receiving nothing in return. It’s time we revisit the contract between the state and NJTV. Immediate action must be taken to assure that this never happens again.”

Throughout the hurricane, New York and Philadelphia TV channels provided around-the-clock coverage.

Diegnan and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) were two of the lead sponsors of a resolution (ACR-201) that would have voided the contract negotiated between the Christie administration and WNET for the takeover of the state’s public broadcasting station due to concerns over whether the new entity would devote the resources necessary to cover the issues important to New Jerseyans while receiving taxpayer subsidies. The measure passed the Assembly but failed to garner enough votes in the Senate to void the contract.

“We all feared that this arrangement was a joke,” Diegnan said. “Now the joke has turned into a tragedy. In a time of crisis, New Jersey families couldn't turn to our only statewide public broadcasting station for reliable information. Instead they had to rely on out-of-state stations for any coverage they could find.”

—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 
Comments (5)
5 Thursday, 01 September 2011 10:32
Shells_Bells
During the Hurricane New Jerseyan's had every major network and The Weather Channel reporting on the progress of Irene. I have kids who enjoyed watching their programs, and I personally enjoyed the break from hearing about it. The messages scrolling along the bottom of the screen was enough of an update for me--a nice break from the rest of the world forcing the topic on me.

NJN had no better coverage in previous years--but no one complained like this when it was NJN. Stop trying to find problems with a public news station and start fixing problems in the state!
4 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 20:04
bob123
Easily settled. Requisition program logs & air tapes from the time in dispute.4L2K
3 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 18:50
sharon r
Maybe you were not watching NJTV, maybe you were watching News12 NJ, they had constant coverage.
2 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 15:59
B. Cavallo
I would tune into NJTV often during the storm and EVERY time I turned it on, there was a cartoon on.. What channel were YOU watching??
1 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 15:35
J Rogers
I watched NJTV all night long during the hurricane( thank god we never lost power).. I don't know what this guy is talking about, what channel was he watching? I stayed alone with our house at the jersey shore and was grateful for the constant coverage.

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