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Real Citizen Media and Sago Mine

From Editor & Publisher, we learn that a 21-person local newspaper (led by Linda Skidmore) out of Elkins, WV still knows how to gather news. Maybe CNN, Fox and even blog cheerleaders will take a pointer. This is an example real citizen media and professional journalism:

Skidmore adds that her staff never believed the
miners had been found alive because no official word was ever given.
She said no update about miners being found alive ever appeared on the
paper’s Web site, either.



“I was on the phone with her and I was hearing things
on CNN and FOX that she was not hearing there,” Skidmore said about
reporter Becky Wagoner. “She heard that the miners were alive just
before it was broadcast, around midnight. She talked about hearing
church bells ringing and people yelling in jubilation–but nothing
official.”



Wagoner, a seven-year veteran of the paper, told
E&P she had been covering the story since it broke Monday, and took
a photograph at the site that was widely carried by national news
outlets. She said rumors about the miners being found alive began
circulating at 11:00 p.m. last night, with broadcast reports beginning
at about midnight. “We heard that they were found alive through CNN,
then it snowballed to ABC, then FOX and it was like a house afire,”
recalled Wagoner, who said she was at the media information center set
up by the mine’s operators, International Coal Group Inc., when the
reports spread.



“A lot of the media left to go to the church where
family members were located, but I stayed put because this was where
every official news conference was given–and we never got anything
official here,” she said. “Something was not right. Then we were
hearing reports that 12 ambulances had gone in [to the mine area] but
only one was coming out. There was so much hype that no one considered
the fact that there was no [official] update.”

Standard