by Cathy Resmer
Derek Rose, a reporter who covered the Sago mine explosion, explains what happened in his own words on his blog. This is long, but illuminating, especially if you don't know much about how the media works to cover a disaster.
I sympathize with this aside. Rose is explaining why he wasn't concerned about waiting for official confirmation that the miners were alive:
(As a side note: I have an anti-authoritarian streak a mile long. Idon’t believe in waiting until “the authorities,” give my stories somemagic stamp of approval by saying “this story has been OfficiallyConfirmed.” That just makes the media another government cog. As we sawduring Katrina, the authorities can be just as wrong as anyone else.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and often governmentofficials can be more neutral and knowledgeable than others. Butthey’re all only human, with their own motives, just like everyoneelse).
Rose interviews other reporters, too:
“Reporters were tired, and print reporters, who were burned the worst,were up against very tight deadlines and had to write on very shortnotice,” says Langfitt, who worked at the Baltimore Sun for a dozenyears. “They were under tremendous pressure. It’s too simple to saythis was a case of the media being sloppy or loose. Reporters shouldhave hedged their ledes, but I’m a radio reporter, I did not report onthis ’til 5 a.m., I feel lucky."