Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The tragedy of miscommunication

If you know how to Google the news stories about the mining tragedy in West Virginia, and put them in chronological order, you'll see a cacophony of fact and opinion rolled into what's purported to be news. As most of us now know, 12 of 13 miners have died, with the one survivor in critical condition. Of course, I'm not a reporter, so I'm just going by the latest I've read on this.

Many of those who call themselves journalists have shamed (even further?) the profession by printing an unsubstantiated report of the miner's survival. However the miscommunication occurred, that it somehow "became" fact spread across internet sites and newspaper covers shows the poor quality of fact-checking seen in our mainstream media. Let's hope the weeklies at least get it right.

God help those families who were celebrating what they thought was the miraculous recovery of their loved ones, only to find out later they were terribly misinformed. I can't imagine the tremendous letdown they felt, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We may never know for sure who said what where and to whom. What matters is that a severe disservice was done to these families and to the honor of journalistic integrity and professionalism.

And may that one miner who is the true and verified miracle find speedy recovery.

The attached picture can be found at


At 18:35, Blogger eph2810 said...

Yes, I heard about this in the office today. I have to admit, we don't watch the news very often...
You know, I think it is because everyone wants to be the first one to run a headline, no matter if it is true or not! That really stinks!

At 09:59, Blogger Jeff said...

It's probably best not to watch the news too often, especially first thing in the morning (which, I'll admit, I do at times, but I try to pray for the people and situations as I'm watching). Too bad news has become more and more about competition and, in some cases, promoting an agenda.

At 12:31, Blogger Jon said...

I have to agree with eph on this one.They have deadlines for a report and instead of them taking their time and getting the facts,they rush and rush to try and meet their deadlines in reporting the news,and sometimes their reports can be critical and very hurting.

At 12:35, Anonymous Jon said...

Jeff I mad an mistake if you will please leave my post up but I used my blogger name for my other site and it takes you to my profile and I am new at blogspot so I don't know if anyone can edit my profile or not.I may be the only one that can see edit profile I don't know for sure though

At 13:59, Blogger Jeff said...

Jon, I'm pretty sure only you can change your profile since it requires userid and password access.

At 19:02, Blogger Jon said...

Thanks Jeff,I am new at blogspot and am still learning the ropes,lol


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