Katie Couric's Notebook: Miners

Millions of people worldwide have been glued to their TVs, riveted, as the trapped Chilean miners are lifted to the surface and into the arms of their loved ones.

But as the rescue effort winds down, the media frenzy will only heat up. Already there are talks of paid interviews, books and movie deals. The miners have reportedly asked a lawyer to draft a contract that would allow them to share the proceeds.

Yet no one can prepare them for what happens once the cameras disappear. After nine Pennsylvania miners were rescued in 2002, many were plagued by anxiety and depression. One of the rescuers killed himself, as did the paramedic who rescued Baby Jessica McClure in 1987.

For now, it's simply a joy to watch the miners celebrate their rescue.  But the pitfalls of fame and fortune can be just as treacherous as being trapped underground.

Keeping them safe will require a second lifeline - sound advice, and lasting support.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.


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