For the last two weeks Australians have been waiting in anticipation for two trapped miners in the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania to be freed. This morning rescuers finally made their way to the miners who had been sitting in a cage where they were trapped, awaiting their arrival.
It wasn’t until about a week ago that we even knew that they were even alive and since then the media frenzy has reached heightened levels. The Beaconsfield mine has been surrounded by all sorts of media vans, personnel, cameras, everything that I imagine is associated with broadcasting when not using a studio. They’d all rushed there thinking it was only going to be a few days until the miners were rescued but it dragged on for much longer than that.
It occurred to me during the last week that the two men who’ve been trapped down there will have the chance to tell and sell their story to just about anyone for a price they can probably name. The longer they stayed, I think, the higher the selling value of their story became.
It was with this thought in mind that it was interesting tonight to watch A Current Affair on Channel Nine where reporter Martin King stood in the local pub with a beer in his hand talking to Tracy Grim for Shaw at the mine. At one stage he even took a sip of beer while being asked a question as if he were the one who’d been rescued, and in way he’s been rescued from reporting from Beaconsfield pretty soon. What was interesting was seeing Channel Nine CEO Eddie McGuire in the background talking head-to-head and one-on-one to one of the miners who’d been rescued, I’m sure trying to make a deal for his story. Martin King also informed us that Eddie McGuire had put a large amount of money behind the bar for people’s drinks. Eddie’s also organising a telethon to raise money. Good on ya Eddie! I’m sure his heart is in the right place and I’m sure he wants that story for Channel Nine.
Just to give an indication of how the family has already been relentlessly hassled by the media, today, Triple J’s Hack put a phone call into one of the families and got the answering machine message along the lines of, ‘We’re not home. Please leave a message unless you’re the media.’ Upon looking at the Hack website for a link to their story I found they’ve also done a story one on the media circus surrounding the trapped miners.
ABC’s Media Watch last night talked about the reporting of the whole thing and said that because there’s not really been that much to report in a week that the media have been down there they’ve really scraped the bottom of the barrel in what’s been reported. For instance, a story was written about the Today Tonight presenter in Sydney having a van just for makeup and to retaliate she went on air with her program and denied all of this and had the audacity to comment on journalism skills of others. Who cares?
To add to the media circus, unfortunately last Sunday a 60 Minutes reporter, Richard Carleton had a heart attack during a press conference and died.
And of course, I can’t not mention the miner who died when the rockfall happened. His funeral was held today.
Who knows what the two freed men will do with their mother lode of a story. One thing’s for sure they won’t be working in a mine again.