“Australian network/s” rescue Haitian baby

Even in the tragedy of Haiti, Australian news crews are racing for stories.

According to The Australian, both Seven and Nine witnessed the rescue a child from the rubble …and some media would suggest helped in her rescue too.

Both news crews were on site when a local interpreter, Deiby Celestino, pulled the baby girl from the crushed building after she had endured days in the dark, surrounded by dead bodies.

Celestino is the local “fixer” for Nine News -who assists crews in access, transport, languages etc.

When she emerged, Seven’s Mike Amor reached forward to take the little girl, pouring water over her head to clear away dust, and giving her something to drink. His photo appears in British newspapers at the magic moment.

“That moment, it was beyond news,” he tells The Australian.

“The focus of everybody on that hill was the little girl, and as any of us will tell you, it was Deiby who went into that hole, and dug, and dug, until he got that little girl out. He’s the hero.”

Nine’s US correspondent Robert Penfold, who was also there, tells The Australian, “We had to walk over sheets of tin, and then climb up over concrete, and then jump down, on to another slab of concrete, to where four men were standing, pointing, and you could hear crying, from somewhere underneath.”

In this dramatic footage, both Amor and Penfold are both visible at the scene, sometimes separated only by another local.

Both hold the baby girl at separate times, and both follow her to the local Save the Children office to see she gets medical attention.

Or to follow the story. Or both.

This shorter clip with a Seven watermark only shows Amor at the scene, while Nine’s only showed Penfold.

The Australian also notes footage was filmed by the only Australian TV cameraman ever to win the Gold Walkley for journalism, Richard Moran. Update: This story in news.com.au says Moran put down his camera to assist in her recovery: “Nine did not get the footage because of Moran’s heroics – and he later rang his head of news Mark Calvert in Sydney to explain why.”

A happy ending, in any case.

Source: The Australian


  1. One shot in Seven’s version showed Nine’s Penfold behind the Seven guy holding the water. Not a good move to try pumping a bottle of water into her all in one go. What dod I immediately think of? 1. Naomi Robson in PNG and 2. “Frontline”.

  2. Eric Chris Sapaula

    My heart is joyful over this miracle. And I am very happy that there were reporters on the scene to broadcast to the world the rescue of this little child trapped under the rubble of what used to be her home. After days of reporting stories about devastation and despair in Haiti, I sure would like to hear some good news from there. The only thing that disturbed me as I was watching the video was when the reporter abruptly doused the little girl with water on her head. I wish that they had brought with them a clean piece of cloth or a soft tissue to gently brush off and wipe away the dust and dirt from the baby’s face before dousing her with water. Dust and dirt when mixed with water, we all know, becomes mud; this could have gone through her eyes or she could have accidentally drank it. But overall, I’m just happy this little girl is alive and that there are miracles happening in Haiti.

  3. I saw the 7 News coverage on Sky News and kept going “oh he looks like the hero in this all” though it was good story and a bit emotional they did well in Saving this young girl…. even if they just helped a little it just shows what people Are doing there and what they are Doing there.

  4. @knowfirst. yes it’s great that the baby survived. but the media especially these 2 netowrks, they weren’t there too help and you can see that. they were there for a story and too look like they’re hero when they aren’t

  5. I think 7 and 9 are missing the point here, they have just witnessed someone being given a second chance and all they can do is try and fight over who was the real hero. and no, I watched it on nine news and it think it was the interpreter who was the real hero, not penfold or the other channel 7 dude

  6. I think I’ve seen all this on Frontline……!

    I’m all for reporters rescuing people if its legit and without the publicity of tv cameras, but if they’re doing it just for the show – what a disgrace.

    After viewing the reports of both I would put those in the latter category…..

  7. I wasn’t happy watching Mike Amor. He clearly didn’t know how to assist the girl, and yet at the same time wanted to hold onto her for as long as possible for film purposes, while he asked ‘who’s girl is this?’, and almost seemed ready to challenge the man who claimed to be the girl’s uncle. Shameful.

  8. Bring back Media Watch ASAP! This is a discrace by the commercial networks! 200,000+ dead and yet all they care about is getting an exclusive story before the other network gets it.

  9. It’s nice to know even if such awful circumstances, the networks still care…about getting a good story and plugging their own network as saviors.

  10. I saw both 9 and 7 story versions and the editors have done thier best to remove the other respective journalist out of video reports as best as possible. I dont know why they need to pretend they were somehow working independently.

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