Liz Farry, Executive Producer for our Broadcast News Operations, sounds off on a number of items from laziness to reporter emotion contributing to the BROKEN NEWS situation at the mine disaster. You can link here to her weblog. I think Liz does a solid job puncing holes in Anderson Cooper's defense of how the CNN and the media handled the situation which you can read at the Milwaukee Journal.
Ian Durham (a West Virginia native, Westmisnter '05 grad and sports reporter for The Review in East Liverpool, OH) is highly critical of the sensationalism and hype. He sent me the following e-mail offering his take on the media frenzy at this mine disaster: Personally, I think the way the media is covering the mining disaster in is a joke. Sure, 13 miners trapped in a mine explosion/collapse is very gripping as far as a human interest story (so is a three-year-old stuck in a well), but it has been blown way out of proportion.
How can it be possible for such a blatant falsified rumor to be spread worldwide? I heard that 12 of the miners were alive and saved on the radio coming home from work at about 1:00am Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, I turned on CNN and saw the "Oops! Sorry, 12 of them died and the 13th that we thought was the only one that died is actually alive, but clinging to life."
It's sad that professional media would stoop to reporting completely false information gathered from unidentified and unreliable sources. As a media consumer, I want to know the truth. I don't care if I have to wait a few more hours for it. It's not ethical to report information such as this.Also, I believe the continuing coverage of every second of the surviving miner's existence and the publishing of the death note one of the deceased miners wrote is wrong. Sure, the public should be updated as to the 13th miner's condition, but the media is constantly outside the hospitals at which this poor man is fighting for his life. The other miner that wrote the note to ease his family's pain is a heart-felt story, but it's a PERSONAL story.
These two things, if any, are extreme breaches of privacy simply done to gather ratings.I'm sure we'll all see this in a made-for-TV-movie in a few months, anyways.