Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Nail In The Media Coffin

Media Report Miracle Mine Rescue -- Then Carry the Tragic Truth

In one of the most disturbing media performances of its kind in recent years, TV news and many newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners in West Virginia had been found alive and safe. Hours later they had to reverse course.

For hours, starting just before midnight, newspaper reporters and anchors such as MSNBC's Rita Cosby interviewed euphoric loved ones and helped spread the news about the miracle rescue. Newspaper Web sites announced the happy news and many put it into print for Wednesday at deadline. "They're Alive!" screamed the banner headline in the Indianapolis Star. The Boston Globe at least added a qualifier in its banner hed: "12 Miners Reportedly Found Alive."

In many cases, the same papers stopped the presses later, after tens of thousands of copies were printed and distributed, to carry the correct report. USA Today, for example, printed an update under the headline: "Official: 1 Miner Survived."

It was "Dewey Defeats Truman" all over again. Some editors blamed officials, including the governor, for misleading reporters. In reality, rescuers had only confirmed finding 12 miners--and were checking their vital signs. But what leaked out to anxious family members was that 12 were found alive. The coal company, it later admitted, knew that the early reports were false 20 minutes after they started circulating, but did not quickly correct them. More @ Editor & Publisher

Katrina Media Proves It Cannot Be Trusted - Rush


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