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Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Los Mineros De Chile!

A brief personal reaction/stream of conciousness to the “Miracle in the Desert”… and the media, of course. We’ll be back to the rocks soon. I promise.

This post should probably be relegated to Rocks in the News. I (like the rest of the world) was so transfixed by the spectacle yesterday that I was barely able to focus on my work, much less my blog. (A head cold probably didn’t help my productivity). After my post almost two months ago about the trapped miners, I do feel like I need to say something to bring closure to it all.

I had trouble not crying when it was children standing waiting for their dads and brothers- they held back none of their emotions, and really summed up the emotions that everyone else was feeling too. It was a miracle, brought about (as so many miracles are) by luck, and fortitude, and engineering, and the human spirit.

What an amazing celebration, though having the TV on did make me realize how utterly annoying the 24 hour news cycle is. The BBC kept replaying a single report over and over when they needed time to go and report, and the news presenters kept feeling like they just�had to keep talking, even when they were repeating what had just been said. But such is the world.

I do wish that the news media had done a little bit of a better job with some back information that they could have pulled out during the tedious breaks between rescues- the really big networks could have contributed less to the 1,400 reporters at Camp Hope and made it even more interesting, by sending out more reporters elsewhere. I wanted to know about the equipment, the two teams who raced to get there first, but hadn’t made it, and of course, more about the rock that they were drilling through, and the desert they were in. I would have liked to have heard what a normal day in the mine was for these miners before the cave-in, and seen at least one reporter just dogging the owners of the San Jose mine paparazzi-style, like they were doing to the miners families and the Chilean President.

I also wondered why no one in the US, or any of the networks around the world didn’t think to go to a mining town, gather miners and miners families from the area and get their reactions as they watched. Forget demonstrations of how the capsule works, or pictures of reactions in NYC or DC- watch it with a group of people whose job it is every day to go down into the bowels of the earth and risk enduring what the 33 went through, or worse. Barring that, just have a silent live feed when you don’t have anything new to say, or images from around the camp.

I think I might just be a little demanding though.

The annoyance of repetition was certainly more than made up for by those last few moments each time a miner rose up the shaft. For all the crap I’m giving the news media, I have to say that it is absolutely amazing that we were able to watch the events unfold in real time from all over the world. They were in the middle of the desert on the western edge of South America for heaven’s sake!! But we were able to see from thousands of miles away the look on a wife or girlfriend’s face that said it all, a crying child, the continued cheers and exclamations of the rescue workers each time one of the 33 was lifted to the surface- such joy and elation and amazement at the great feats we can�achieve when we put our mind and resources towards something.

It’s not just signing a check, and it’s not just belief that your cause is�righteous,�it is those coupled with the determination to see something through to the end. It might be a cliche worthy of Hollywood, but it’s TRUE, it’s what we wish could happen every time disaster strikes, and when we see an example of optimism becoming reality, we seize onto that idea, at least for the moment.

So lets enjoy this break, enjoy the optimism, and enjoy the story for today.

…and tomorrow… lets start a pool on how many months it will take to get a movie made about the rescue, and which 33 hollywood stars will be lining up to be miners.


  1. LMG wrote:

    You make excellent points about some of the stories that did not get told during rescue coverage. That’s why you’re in the field you’re in–you have the chance to change things–yay!

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  2. Jadwiga McKay wrote:

    I agree with you that the media coverage wasn’t the absolute greatest. You have shared ideas that would have coverage more rounded and not as repetitive. However, I have to give it to the BBC. They did a better job than the news networks here in the US. The few moments I looked at of those networks made me glad that I had picked BBC.

    You are right to take a few moments to reflect on the miracle in Chile. The story of the trapped miners began as a tragedy but became one of hope, determination and the tenacity of the human spirit. All around the world can look to what has taken place there as inspiration for all of humanity.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink