Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not surprisingly the lead story on Newsround this morning was all about the rescue of miners in Chile. Viewers were told "while you were sleeping there have been huge celebrations as rescue workers started to successfully free the miners who were trapped."

Hayley: ... This is the moment the first man, Florencio Avalos, was winched to the surface just a few hours ago. As you can hear, there were loads of cheers. Florencio was quickly reunited with his wife Monica and eight-year-old son Byron, who were very pleased to see him. He seemed pretty happy too. He had to wear special sunglasses to protect his eyes from the bright lights and camera flashes because he had been in the dark for so long. ...

All three morning bulletins included that bit about the sunglasses. But - really - were those sunglasses to protect Florencio's eyes, or were they being worn for some other reason? The eye is more than capable of adapting to differing brightness levels within a few seconds. And anyway it's not as if the miners had been in total darkness for the 69 days they'd been down the mine.

Could it be that it was some kind of commercial deal to obscure all the miners' faces, so there can later be premium payments for photographs and interviews? That would account for the strange sight of miners greeting friends and family while still wearing sunglasses.

Newsround, and BBC News in general, shouldn't just blindly repeat what they've heard or been told. Isn't it the job of a journalist to investigate, find out the truth, and then report it? Perhaps Andrew Marr could learn a thing or two from us bloggers.

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