Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Spokesman Who Wasn't There: Joe Thornton, deputy secretary for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, was there (as in on site, answering reporters' phone calls) during the mine disatser, but he wasn't there (as in quoted in news stories) when reporters wrote their erroneous stories. Why not? Thornton thinks he knows why: "I imagine that I wasn't quoted in more places because I wouldn't confirm or deny," he tells Editor & Publisher.

The E&P story seems to raise as many questions as it answers. Thornton says he answered about 100 phone calls from reporters and says he told them all the same thing: "We are hearing that 12 miners were found alive--but that has not been confirmed." But Thornton was quoted by name in only one major story, a New York Times piece by James Dao, which says Thornton "said the miners were being examined at the mine shortly before midnight and would soon be taken to nearby hospitals."

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