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Mourning "Men Joined in Peril and Purpose": Working-Class Heroism in News Repair of the Sago Miners' Story

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Abstract:

Initially promising to replicate the story of the 2002 rescue at the Quecreek mine in Pennsylvania, news coverage of the January 2006 coal mine accident in Sago, WV, went terribly wrong when journalists incorrectly reported the miners' "miracle" survival. Analysis of 761 newspaper, newsmagazine, and broadcast news reports illustrates how journalists corrected a mishandled story, and offers a glimpse into their broader role in constructing politically affirming national mythology. The final story of Sago was one of a rural community with class pride, distinct gender roles, and other "traditional" values presumed lost - a nostalgic parable of blue-collar patriotic sacrifice.

Keywords: Heroism; Journalism; Narrative; News Repair; Nostalgia; Working Class

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07393180701262727

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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