I was glued to the television as most people were, watching thirty-three Chilean miners as they were pulled from their dark tomb in an elongated tight fitting capsule. In Chile, thirty-three men have been trapped approximately a half mile below the earth due to a mining accident sixty-nine days ago. On August 5th, 2010, part of the San Jose Mine collapsed and trapped these thirty-three men. For seventeen days no-one knew whether these men were alive or dead. A multitude of rescuers from several countries joined in to help with the amazing rescue of these Chilean heroes. The thirty-three trapped miners and all their rescuers are our true forever world heroes.
Each miner has a personal story. Still, I was somewhat appalled to read the, “Daily News,” and the, “New York Post,” The Chilean miners were all rescued on October 13, 2010. Instead of focusing their news articles on these amazing thirty-three Chilean heroes and their determination to survive, or even focus their articles on the steadfast work of their rescuers, both newspapers based in New York decided to focus and display on their front page a story and photo about one miner’s personal story. Where were the headlines concerning the amazing rescue of all the Chilean miner heroes?
The, “Daily News,” headline read, “Hole-y Snit! Miner’s wife skips hubby’s rescue, but mistress gets big smooch,” and, the, “New York Post” had a headline, “The Miracle In Chile. He’s All Mine.”
Yonni Barrios, one of the thirty-three miners had real personal drama because while he was trapped beneath the earth, his wife, Marta Salinas, and long time mistress, Susana Valenzuela, found out about each other while meeting at a vigil for the miners at the mine site. Yonni’s wife decided not to attend when he was rescued and instead he was greeted by his mistress. Personal drama, of course, and it did attract the overwhelming curiosity of the public, so the, Daily News, and the, New York Post, ran with this story for their front cover.
Why wasn’t the news focused on the dramatic stories of how thirty-three Chilean miner heroes managed to survive in a dark, dank, dusty mine tomb for sixty-nine days? These men had to struggle to exist with little food supplies, not knowing if they were going to die in their mine tomb. Why not focus the news story about how the rescue heroes were determined to not give up until they rescued these trapped miners? Why not focus the news on how the world came together to rescue these thirty-three trapped Chilean miners?
In a world of turmoil, with horrible news and scandals, the positive aspects of this situation should be the focus. Our world managed to come together in a wave of passionate humanity, in order to rescue thirty-three Chilean miner heroes. Canada, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Africa, and the United States were some of the countries that joined together in order to rescue these Chilean Miners. People managed to communicate and work together for a common positive cause. Shouldn’t this amazing story be the focus of the news instead of focusing on one miner’s sordid personal drama?
A photo of the thirty-three Chilean miner heroes being freed from their transport tube would be a more positive news cover photo. A photo of the last miner being rescued would be a better sense of the miraculous rescue story. Luis Urzua, the shift chief, was the last miner pulled from their tomb. He led his fellow trapped miners, organized their survival, and probably was the reason they all managed to survive. Luis Urzua’s story is more amazing than a story about a miner’s marital infidelity. A photo of a rescuer hugging the first freed miner would be a more dramatic and positive image.
The Chilean miners are our world’s heroes. As the world reads and hears more amazing stories about their time being trapped and their fight to survive, or read and hear the rescuers thoughts, hopefully the news media will direct their lead stories in a different way. As readers and viewers of the news, as we follow the tales of the Chilean miners as they unfold, hopefully we’ll expect a wider news media focus on this miraculous and historic rescue.
Thirty-three Chilean miner heroes now face the public eye, and will be inundated with media offers. Hopefully their lives will be forever touched in a positive sense, and hopefully our news media, including newspapers and television, will embrace these heroes full dramatic stories.