I'm blogging this while watching the 13th miner being rescued from the Chilean mine. It's extraordinary. I've only just tuned in but I can tell from the activity on twitter and the volume of facebook statuses about it that it has been transfixing people for most of the day. News 24 must be getting its highest viewing figures for the year. They have more content than they can use- underground shots, capsule shots, family shots, interviews, archive inserts of the disaster. The journalist doing the running commentary has been speaking for hours, but never runs out of things to say. It is one of those rare stories that feels completely universal- jeopardy, potential tragedy, human ingenuity and resiliance, and most important of all, a happy ending. For once our priorities seem in the right place- this is about family, and good attitude, and leaving no man behind. The complexities of a giant corporation, the cost, the political negotiations, and all those using this story to boost their own image are subsumed in the straighforwardly good news story being told, and shown, and dissected, 33 times.
Is this a good thing? It is certainly heart warming. It feels sort of nostalgic to see so much of our usually fragmented and distracted population united on one strory. It is a good news story, and we all need more of those. For Christians it is exciting to see prayer and God given more air time than the rest of the month's TV put together.
And yet. So much else is going on the world today. So many other stories, good and bad. Do we need to have rolling coverage? Can we not rejoice with these miners and their families, thank God for their lives whilst still covering some of those? Or is this culturally important, a rare ritual that we should just run with? Let the other stories wait? Give in to letting the world seem a friendly, uncomplicated place? I'm not sure what I think, but I imagine I'll keep watching.