Ali Velshi: Criticism of Hurricane Coverage ‘well-intentioned and fair’

By Alex Weprin 

CNN’s Ali Velshi talks to The Huffington Post’s Rebecca Shapiro about covering Hurricane Sandy. Velshi, as we noted, spent a good deal of the storm in the streets of Atlantic City, battling nature’s wrath… and some video bombers.

Velshi addressed the safety precautions his team had to abide by, and the criticism CNN and other networks faced for putting reporters at risk for the sake of getting a good shot.

I read a lot of the criticism and I have to say, I take it well. I think one of the great things about CNN is I know we will have discussions about this. I know people will talk about this internally, and we’ll sort of continue to evaluate what it does for us.

Can we evolve into a way of doing it where we can do it and the viewer doesn’t get frightened on our behalf? Quite possibly we can. And I’m certainly open to evaluation on how we do that and whether I did exactly the right thing. But we did take our safety into account and we felt we were able to adequately convey how dangerous the storm was while keeping ourselves safer than a layperson would be able to do.

I think the criticisms are well-intentioned and fair, and we will continue to evaluate how we do these things. We are all very interested in making sure we’re safe while doing the service we feel we need to be performing.