Live from Chile: A camera made the world a bit smaller
(CNN) -- The rescue of the 33 miners trapped in a northern Chile mine had all the ingredients for a riveting story and then some: a camera placed half a mile under the Earth's surface that would bring the world live images of a dramatic ending.
A live broadcast of the men being hoisted up enthralled the entire world.
People who had no connection to the miners cried. And they celebrated as though their own child had just been saved.
The story of rescue is not new. But this one was groundbreaking, like no other in history perhaps, because of a sudden, unexpected and dramatic live shot of a rescue capsule being lowered into the mine shaft, said Al Tompkins, senior faculty for broadcast and online media at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school for professionals in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Chilean government, which provided the footage, had not told the news media in advance that the world would see images from the mine.
That moment left some news anchors speechless -- for a few seconds at least -- and drew instant comparisons to other milestones in television news history such as the first moonwalk or missile fire during the first Gulf War.
"Wow. Look at this," said CNN's Anderson Cooper. "This is actually from inside the mine, a live image of the capsule entering the mine for the first time. Extraordinary. Extraordinary moment. If this does not give you chills, I'm not sure what will."
Chilean authorities proved they were as savvy in media as they were in engineering, said Tompkins. They installed video cameras that allowed everyone to see what was happening underground.