A few years ago, if you had asked the general public where they would be getting their passionate, fact-driven journalism from in 2017, it’s unlikely the top answer would be The Weather Channel. But time and time again the responsibility of keeping the American people informed about the most pressing issues has fallen into the laps of the nation’s meteorologists. Today is no exception, as Weather.com has committed its entire online presence to reminding people about the crisis continuing to unfold in Puerto Rico.
It’s been exactly one month since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island territory, and still 3 million people are without power and 1 million don’t have access to water. Beginning with the blunt, all-caps headline “America, This Is Still Happening,” The Weather Channel is not about to let us forget that fact. Until Saturday morning, both its website and mobile app will feature wall-to-wall coverage of these American citizens that are currently being failed by the federal government. With articles like “Hospital Ship Mostly Empty,” “Death Toll Is Still Expected To Rise,” and “America, This Is Our Problem,” it’s clear The Weather Channel is not fucking around. As the 24-hour news cycle continues to roll on from crisis to crisis, it wants us to remember the millions of people being left behind.
This isn’t the first time The Weather Channel has had to be the admonishing grown-up of web journalism. Just last June, after President Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, it plastered its homepage with articles highlighting the scientific proof of global warming, just falling short of calling Trump a dangerous idiot. And back in December, it was forced to go toe-to-toe with Breitbart after the right-wing website dared to use a Weather Channel video to “prove” global warming wasn’t happening.
These mini-crusades are as heartening as they are necessary. With an infinitely scrolling newsfeed at our fingertips and an internet built around the newest, hottest outrage, the truly important stories can sometimes get lost in the shuffle—or, worse, be considered “old news.” Luckily, Weather.com is here to make sure Puerto Rico doesn’t get lost and doesn’t get forgotten. At least, not today.