Miners Dead: Did The Media Get Ahead Of The Story? Yes & No

By Brian 

Some insomniac bloggers are already blaming the media for this morning’s mistake.

“Let’s make sure we put the blame where it belongs here: The nation’s media took an unconfirmed rumor of twelve survivors and made it into the Mining Miracle,” Furious Nads says. “…And for three to four hours straight, without doing anything resembling journalism, the wires and newspapers and websites and television networks proclaimed the rumor as truth.”

Television journalists should have been more careful to tell viewers that mine officials had not confirmed the news of survivors. The chyrons that initially said “REPORT: 12 MINERS ALIVE” eventually lost the word “REPORT” and assumed the news was true. But the media cannot be blamed for broadcasting the images of joyous families and friends. The media simply transmitted the scene to viewers.

This blogger asks journalists “why did you run — and run hard — with a story based on information from a single anonymous source?” But that’s not what they did: They ran with information from dozens of family members who had received misinformation.