Massey Energy: Providing Context

I think that it’s evident from my writing here this week that I think the Web is about providing context. As I’ve been reading stories about the latest West Virginia coal mining disaster, I asked myself, “Hey, isn’t Massey Energy the company that owned the Sago Mine?” No, they’re not, but they are the one that essentially paid for Brent Benjamin to be on the WV State Supreme Court. Slimy guys, they spread money around like manure to keep their industry from being well-regulated.

Now, I’m not a Daily Kos reader, so I missed the DK evisceration of Massey Energy until some Googling just now. But why does it take a blog to bring this up? Why isn’t this stuff in the NYT story? Yes, they do Times Topics, but this kind of contextualization is important in this era where journalism is as much about small pieces, loosely joined as it is about who, what, where, when, why, and how.

I’m not suggesting that news organizations go all Bill Simmons, who calls the OKC NBA team “the Zombie Sonics” just to remind every one of his readers about the absolute travesty of the Sonics getting ripped from the PNW. I am asking for some context.

And while I’m talking about context: Worldwide deaths over the past 50 years from Coal Mining Accidents: 250,000. Nuclear Power accidents: 64. Rather than “Dig, baby, dig!” it ought to be “Fission, baby, fission!”