Home > Uncategorized > Chilean miners – The lumbering pace of the BBC’s rescue coverage

Chilean miners – The lumbering pace of the BBC’s rescue coverage

The sense of relief was shared by miners, family and reporters alike

The Chilean miners news coverage should have been a model exercise for 24 hour news coverage.  Long uneventful waits were repeatedly punctuated by triumphant scenes as each miner was winched to the surface. 

But judging by some of the BBC news channel’s coverage yesterday, it seemed as if those reporting were taken by suprise at what an easy job they had on their hands.

The plodding pace of a 24 hour news anchor filling time produces a strangely rhythmical and theraputic sound, but the length and repetitive nature of yesterday’s rescue meant that some anchors hanged on words for so long they sounded like nursery children learning to read.

Words staggered with punctuated gaps, as if every word struck them as suprising.  But why weren’t grand and elaborate soliqouys prepared in advance?  One guest had the right idea.  When asked about how we could possibly empathise with the miners’ unique experience, this “expert” insisted we could.  We just had to look to our deepest fear.  Claustrophobia, I pondered?  No, she was refering to death.  She then proceded to elaborate on how the miners had been faced with their own mortality, and posited an unexpected axiom: We all have to go sometime, but the miners must have thought their number was up.

A weighty if slightly obvious suggestion, but at least she was trying.  The desperate live improvising that goes on could easily be quenched with a bit more preparation.  At one point Matt Frei decided to describe the landscape around him.  Craning his head around the sight, Frei somehow came up with the obscure adjective “Martian”.  Where was the £100,000 spent?  Certainly not on a team of writers concocting meaningful material behind the scenes.  The sense of relief when a miner was brought to the surface was not isolated to friends, family and viewers, it was also palpable in the voices of reporters who finally had something to report.

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