After the last of the 33 Chilean Miners and their rescue team made it to the surface in the early hours of this morning the book deals, documentaries and Hollywood films were probably already being signed. Yet, the ‘media’ tale of the miners’ ordeal will not be the reminiscing, archive-type traditional methods of documenting historic occasions, but one of real-time coverage and the way it brought the modern world together.
The full rescue was broadcast live on TV channels, radio stations and websites across the world. As each miner arrived to the surface their first glimpse of the world 69 days on was not necessarily their loved ones waiting in the wings but the array of lights, microphones, cameras of the assembled 1300 journalists. And while all of those journalists spoke back to their audiences in their traditional print, audio or video format, the majority also expressed their own personal opinions via social media accounts giving a real insight into the emotions running high at the rescue camp: Camp Hope.
Award-winning Chile-based journalist Jorge Garreton was a popular source of insight and local knowledge as the events unfolded while the BBC’s man on site Tim Willcox also reflected in a more personal way than he was able to on camera. Even the Chilean president Sebastian Pinera tweeted as the rescue unfolded and it would be interesting to know how many of the 247,000 followers he now boasts had even heard of him prior to the miners plight becoming world news.
The success of the rescue mission seemed to touch everyone that followed the news. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was one of the world leaders tweeting messages of support while the celebrity Twitterati were also busy relaying their thoughts. Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden was one hooked to the TV coverage while teen pop star Justin Bieber reflected “Just found out the miners of Chile are being rescured!! Happy for the families being brought back together. Miracles do happen.” Fashion guru Gok Wan had similar sentiments “So very happy for the miners!!! Its truely an amazing moment! X” while comedian Al Murray tried to lighten the moment: “I am told (by@Aug24) that the pressure shift means they will all definitely fart on the way up in the lift”.
Whether the soon to follow Hollywood film will feature such Twitter reaction we will have to wait and see. What is almost certain is that the spoof Twitter accounts like @Chilean Miner – which clocked up nearly 14000 followers with a black-humour take on the miners’ ordeal – won’t be featuring on a big screen near you.