“Good news judgment”. It’s something intangible that anyone in the news game must have; the ability to judge how much weight to put on a story, its importance or lack thereof and the tone in which to deliver it.
If not outright captivated, the world is certainly interested in the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for more than two months. In fact, if not for the attention paid by the international media and the speed with which news travels around the world, I suspect the Chilean government might have been tempted to just seal up the mine and walk away whistling, with an innocent look on their faces. As I write this, several of the miners have reached the surface and it’s a beautiful sight. One young man somehow had the energy to lead the gathered crowd in some sort of Chilean cheer, complete with fist-pumps and leaps!
But how deep is our interest here in Canada? This is what I wondered when I awoke to an in-box full of News Alerts from a radio station in our region. They sent an email alert each time a miner was freed complete with his full name! 680 News, CNN, etc had it right. They sent out one alert when the first miner surfaced. That’s all we needed to know: the rescue was underway. It’s not as if the cast of Seinfeld was down there and we were waiting for Costanza to be brought up. We do not, nor will we ever, know their names. They are a group of 33 men about whom we wonder but what this radio station did was total overkill and showed a lack of judgment about the depth, breadth and importance (or lack) of specific details in the story to its listeners. And quite frankly, it was annoying – scratch that – it IS annoying because these alerts continue to arrive. I’ve received 9…and counting.