Local Media Response to Y2K Part 2

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Despite the fact that the governors office here issued a recent press release showing that Alabama was critically behind in most areas of Y2K compliance, the local electronic media (print and radio) continue to report only the "spin" side of the issue which is "No major disruptions expected in critical services".

Even the print media here has used that for the headline of stories that do go on to point out some pretty scary facts. It's almost like the reporters here read the press release and even reprinted the information contained in it but relied totally on the state government spokesman to tell them what those numbers meant. (As many of you pointed out)

Local TV stories have been filled with, as one anchor this morning in Huntsville put it.."Good news about Y2K for Alabama". The fact is that Alabama has spent less than any other state on Y2K fixes and that their own head of state IT admitted to me in an interview last year that he had been unable to convince anyone in the governor's office that it was a real problem.

I am also aware of Jefferson County (Birmingham) having significant problems. They have already had disruptions to their own payroll systems and other problems caused by Y2K. None of this ever seems to make it into the newspaper or onto the local newscasts.

Last night, I was a guest at a private party for some of the lawyers in Birmingham and once someone mentioned that I had directed a documentary on the Y2K problem, I spent the rest of the evening answering questions about the issue. Some of these folks were very concerned and all of them expressed a high level of interest.

So my question remains, with such a high level of public interest in this subject, how come it remains a back page story and you see almost nothing on television about the subject???

For those of you who continue to think this is all a joke..I challenge you to do your own homework. If you are relying on media coverage of this issue to educate you, then you are going to be lacking vital information.

I DO NOT THINK THIS IS DIGITAL ARMEGGEDON but I do think it is a serious threat to our global economy and a short term threat to supply chain distribution. Does that make me crazy? No, that simply means that I have done my homework and haven't taken anyone word for anything. Check and recheck. Make friends with a computer or IT guy at a local company of any size and ask them what they think...The guys on the front line know this is a real issue. Not doomsday, not the end of the world but not a "bump in the road" either.

As I told a lawyer friend last night, when he asked the most common question that I hear: "How bad is going to be?"

I replied, "Not as bad as some of the kooks would have you think but MUCH worse than you have ever thought".

Les Rayburn

-- Les Rayburn (les@vazda.com), March 12, 1999


Les; Great reply in your last sentence. Keep propounding your good common sense. Best wishes,

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 12, 1999.

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