Tyndall: Chilean Miner Story Energized Diane Sawyer

By Alex Weprin 

The Lost Remote newsletter brings you the the best in streaming news, from staffing changes to premiere dates to trailers—to the latest platform moves. Sign up today.

The Chilean miner rescue was covered almost non-stop by the cable news channels and the broadcast news programs. As analyst Andrew Tyndall points out, however, no evening newscast dedicated more time and resources to the event that ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Tyndall says that her program’s coverage of the rescue shows where her focus and interest is: human nature, rather than public policy.

Her enthusiasm for the Chilean story–and the lessons she learned from it–vindicates this analysis. It is a commonplace shorthand in discussions of television journalism to refer to FOX News Channel as the conservative network. Yet FNC is as committed as any liberal to the concept that human governments and institutions are both the causes and the potential solutions of society’s problems. FNC is passionately involved in the political, partisan struggles over who controls those institutions and how they are run. A conservative is skeptical that the human condition is susceptible to social engineering.

Sawyer is the true conservative. For her the world is personal not programatic, inspirational not partisan.

Tyndall also notes how correspondent Jeffrey Kofman, who spent the most time on-scene, treated the event like a hard news story, rather than a human interest one. His presence on-camera was apparently limited, in favor of coverage from Bill Weir and John Quinones, which was more in line with the humanizing tone that the coverage seemed to be attracting from the other news orgs.