Media Coverage of West Virginia Mining Disaster

Reporters who covered the Sago mining disaster in West Virginia the previous month discussed coverage of the story, including the misinformation… read more

Reporters who covered the Sago mining disaster in West Virginia the previous month discussed coverage of the story, including the misinformation reported about the survival of the miners. Topics included the challenges faced by journalists covering the story, the lessons they learned, and the role that 24-hour news coverage may have played in an embarrassing mistake by the media. After their remarks the panelists answered audience members. The panel was moderated by Ms. McBride.

On January 2, 2006, an explosion in the Sago Mine in Tallmansville, W.V., trapped 13 miners and began a two-day rescue mission. Newspapers, radio and television reported just before midnight on January 3 that 12 of the 13 miners had survived. National news broadcasters documented the families' euphoria. Newspaper headlines throughout the country said that all 12 miners had survived. In the end, only one miner, 27-year-old Randal McCloy Jr., lived, but for three hours, family members, the media and the country believed otherwise. When the news of the miners' deaths came at 3:00 a.m., family members were shocked and angered, and the public questioned why they were told the miners were alive. Some newspapers and radio and television stations apologized, while others said they reported what they were told.

The event was coordinated by the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and sponsored by the university’s Festival of Ideas on WVU’s downtown campus. close

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Media Coverage of West Virginia Mining Disaster

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Program ID:
191244-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Forum
Location:
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States
First Aired:
Feb 18, 2006 | 8:58pm EST | C-SPAN 1
Last Aired:
Jan 02, 2007 | 8:00am EST | C-SPAN 2

Airing Details

  • Feb 18, 2006 | 8:58pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Feb 18, 2006 | 11:59pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Feb 21, 2006 | 10:00am EST | C-SPAN 3
  • Feb 23, 2006 | 1:03pm EST | C-SPAN 3
  • Jan 02, 2007 | 8:00am EST | C-SPAN 2
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Media Coverage of West Virginia Mining Disaster

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