The Media Is Only As Good As Its Sources

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We’re learned this time and time again, most recently with the miner scandal. That’s why I’m not nearly as pissed at them as most are.

From E&P:

It took nearly three hours for the coal company to correct the reports. It is unclear why the media carried the news without nailed-down sourcing. Some reports claim the early reports spread via cell phones and when loved ones, and the governor, started celebrating most in the media simply joined in.

“About the confusion, I can’t tell you of anything more heart- wrenching than I’ve ever gone through in my life. Nothing,” Gov. Manchin, who had helped spread the good news, said.

I know people are coming down on the media pretty hard, but I think this is a situation where too many people are killing the messengers. They reported what they knew, and even though the mining company knew the information was wrong, they continued to let the media hang themselves.

In reality, rescuers had only confirmed finding 12 miners–and were checking their vital signs. But what leaked out to anxious family members was that 12 were found alive. The coal company, it later admitted, knew that the early reports were false 20 minutes after they started circulating, but did not quickly correct them.

Just a couple things to keep in perspective.

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