Round up the usual suspects
The usual blogs on left and right are rushing to blame the media for rushing their reporting on last night's developments in the mine disaster. The typical complaint is that they should not have reported that the families believed that the miners had survived until they had gotten independent confirmation.
Other than turning the cameras off completely, it's not clear to me what they could have done. If there's any point to 24-hour news at all, it's to have cameras wherever news is breaking. If the cameras see/hear bells ringing, hugging, happy people and general scenes of jubilation, are they supposed to not record it? or record and not transmit it? People were running up to reporters telling them that mine officials had told them that 12 miners were found alive. The CNN reporters at least (I can't watch Fox; it makes me nauseous) repeatedly said they were awaiting official confirmation of this.
The first reports of survivors turned out to be untrue, but to say that they never should have aired it until they'd received official confirmation from mine officials is like saying they should only print/air news from the war that had been confirmed by the Pentagon; should only print/air White House news confirmed by Scott McClelland. Should report, in fact, that Michael Brown was doing a heck of a job.
The weirdest part of the story was that the company knew twenty minutes after initial reports that they were not true, and didn't contradict the errors, because they didn't know exactly who was dead and alive. How hard would it have been to stick someone in front of cameras to say, "We believe there are more casualties than originally reported", without getting into details?
If anything, this story showed the danger of sequestering the media away from the story. People from the community were seeking out reporters to tell them, in so many words, 'the world needs to know that they (the company) are lying to us'. First word that the original reports of twelve survivors was wrong came from a member of the community walking up to Anderson Cooper and telling him what was going on in the church. I guess the purists should have had him shut off the camera and tell her he couldn't take her report, because it was 'unconfirmed'...