Media Report Miracle Mine Rescue — Then Carry the Tragic Truth

An Associated Press dispatch first carried the news at 11:52 pm: “Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said. Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation.” But many newspapers, and all of cable TV news, reported the rescue as fact, not…

Google News snapshot preserves good, but inaccurate, news

Google News snapshot preserves good, but inaccurate, news (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Google can’t tell the difference between all the different West Virginia mining stories that are popping up online. It may take a while for Google to adjust its focus, as the human editors post updates and Google gets around to re-indexing news sites. While I am not shy about my preference for the depth of written journalism over the flash…

Families Say 11 of 12 W.Va. Miners Dead

Family members learned early Wednesday that 11 of the 12 coal miners who were initially thought to have survived an explosion in a coal mine have died. –Allen G. Breed –Families Say 11 of 12 W.Va. Miners Dead (AP|MyWay) This is horrible. The lead of Breed’s original story says the miners “were found,” but does not say by whom, nor does the lead source the claim. A quote from the governor…

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Herbie Fully Loaded

There is a famous journalistic legend about the time a young reporter covered the Johnstown flood of 1889. The kid wrote: “God sat on a hillside overlooking Johnstown today and looked at the destruction He had wrought.” His editor cabled back: “Forget flood. Interview God.” –Roger Ebert –Herbie Fully Loaded (Sun Times) Yes, I admit I was reading what Roger Ebert had to say about the recent Herbie move. But that…

12 Trapped W.Va. Miners Found Alive

In an extraordinary twist of fate, 12 miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive late Tuesday, more than 41 hours after the blast. –12 Trapped W.Va. Miners Found Alive (AP|MyWay) Wow. One miner was found dead earlier, so a family is still in mourning. Update: A few hours later, a new report says this was incorrect. 11 of 12 are dead.