Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Eager beaver not better

The mining tragedy that has happened in West Virginia over the last few days has stunned me and somewhat shocked me as a journalist. Have we become too eager to get news out, at the expense of the integrity and truth in the information?

Last night, after supper, news channels were announcing that the miners had survived. People were cheering, families were ecstatic. A few hours later, reports now said only one survived, all the others miners had died in the accident. Families waited over three hours to see their loved ones come home, only to be told 'sorry there was miscommunication.'

I couldn't help but think, were the media pressing too hard for information even before it was thouroughly checked? Everyone wants the information now and as fast as possible. Aren't we playing on people's nerves and feelings?

This event also made me think of the time CNN aired the live emergency landing of a plane. The thought of family and friends watching this as a possible tragedy could occur was a little much for me. Don't we have a little respect? It might be one thing to say an emergency landing is happening - but to watch second by second of it is too much.

In both cases, this shows that the media is sometimes too prevalent in people's lives - we have becomed obsessed with peering into everyone's lives.

Tonight on the news, CBC reporter said 'now questions are being asked as to why such a tragedy happened and how was it possible that such a tragedy even got worse.' Just a thought that journalists must remember that the people they are interviewing are people, not just a subject for the 6 o'clock news.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sikander said...

And today's A3 headline in the (Montreal) Gazette reads, "Twelve miners reported alive."

I can just see the higher-ups banging their heads against the wall this morning.

If the paper was being printed at the time, shouldn't there have been an order to halt the presses?

Maybe there was and I just happened to get the older edition. I don't know.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Melanie Holubowski said...

we discussed this briefly in TV class this morning - i'm pretty sure I saw the news that they were dead at around midnight (or was it later?!) - really....why didn't they stop the presses? or at least change the later edition if it was too late for the early edition?

I'm sure someone's head was rolling in the newsroom...i guess people are starting to realize the impact 24 hour news broadcasters and the internet is having on the print side of news. 9/11 , the mining disaster are just two examples of how quickly news can become obsolete.

Margaret Went of the Globe and Mail told me ; "remember, someone might read your article one day, but the next, the paper is at the bottom of the kitty litter. Quite a humbling thought."

1:51 PM  

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