The e-mail I just sent to them:
Are you kidding? In the middle of a severe weather outbreak, tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings popping up all over the place, you ask me to register to view the local radar and/or weather page?
That’s endangerment, reckless and careless and selfish, and it deserves to be spread across the internet.
I don’t care that you ask for registration under most circumstances. That’s why I don’t use your site very much and go elsewhere for news when you demand my personal information.
But during a severe weather outbreak? Are you kidding? You then want me to stop and provide all manner of details about me just so I can see if my life is in danger, if I need to take shelter?
It’s pitiful and pathetic at best. It’s shameless without question.
For a news agency that likes to pretend it cares, this is a blatant contradiction to the “Family First” motto and the whole “we’re here for you” mentality that WFAA tries to sell. In fact, it shows those are lies and deceptions perpetrated to extract marketing information from an audience that needs critical information when it counts, not registration forms.
[Update] This is even better than anything I could have written. While their site demands I hand over all manner of personal information just so I can view the weather page and local radar information, their weather blog presents this headline: “New tornado warnings issued (6:51pm).” It should also state that you can’t expect to actually see any of the critical, life-saving information unless you’re willing to file registration forms in triplicate, wait for a confirmation e-mail, and hope to hell you don’t die before you can complete the registration process.
[Update 2] These things just write themselves. From WFAA’s own site, here are the most recent headlines: “Injuries reported in Breckenridge (7:13 pm)”; “65 mph winds in Parker County”; and “Tornado Warnings extended again (7:21pm).” But you better register first if you want to know if you’re gonna die…