WATCH: ‘4 Days to Save the world’ was a reality show with big ambitions. See a preview of the Star’s investigation into the “4 Days to Save the world”
This story is part of our series 4 Days to Save the world. See our full series here.
The show began with the birth of a newborn baby, but its real genesis involved a real-life emergency.
That’s the heart of the show: the 4-day rescue mission that, in the words of one of the survivors, was “a miracle”.
And, on Wednesday (7 November), the Star was there with a team of reporters, editors and photographers who descended on the remote Alaskan village of Nome to see if what they’d heard was true.
The team arrived at dawn on the first day. They stayed in a campground near the main road. Their car’s roof was so low that they had to walk alongside it and the reporters filmed them from the ground.
In the village itself, which had a population of just 400, the reporters spent the morning in a makeshift office, where staff, volunteers and friends of the Star had set up a makeshift television studio.
Inside the station, which also served as the Star’s bureau in the area, a young woman watched as four or five reporters, dressed in their best, recorded interviews with survivors of the tragedy: two survivors of the explosion; and three survivors whose houses had been burned.
Their first interviews were with two people who lost their lives — one from the explosion and the other at the hands of the fire.
But at their next interview, the young woman asked the Star’s staff to move closer to the house in which the survivors lived. The woman had to sit with the people for the interview because the camera was so low.
When our journalist reached the door of the house, it was too hot to stand. It was so hot that he could not move his camera to record the interview, but the girl who sat with the family could not ask, “Can you move your hand?”
One of the women was so frail, in her early 60s, that she could not even pick up the baby at