Rescue of Chilean Miners Makes for Memorable TV

By Andrew Gauthier 

TVSpy

CNN’s Gary Tuchman described it as “the ultimate live shot.” Media outlets from around the world trained their lenses on a small hole in the ground Tuesday night, waiting for one, and then another, and another, of the 33 Chilean miners to emerge from the cave where they’ve spent the last 69 days.

It was riveting TV and the emotion of the event was perhaps best illustrated by NBC’s Natalie Morales who said, while holding back tears after the first miner had emerged from the ground, “It’s impossible to keep a dry eye.”

The rescue effort provided a bevy of memorable TV moments late Tuesday evening but the prolonged nature of the operation, expected to last throughout the day on Wednesday, is also highlighting how news organizations are using online content to supplement their TV coverage. CNN.com, for instance, has been running a live tally of rescued miners as well as a clock ticking away the seconds since the beginning of the rescue.

Here’s what some critics have had to say about the media coverage so far…

Denver Post
“The only comparison for the viewing public–in terms of goosebump count and awe at a technical feat–was the first live footage of the moon landing.” More…

The New York Times
“A reality show writ large, the mine rescue was watched by millions of people on television and on the Internet as it unfolded Tuesday night.” More….

Time
“Seeing the Chilean miners emerge from the rescue pod into the light has been moving, inspiring and a reminder of the power of live television news to deliver a story of raw human triumph.” More…

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