Story of the Week 8/26

Welcome to this week’s installment of “Story of the Week.” This week was tough. There was a lot going on and it wasn’t an easy pick.

I’m going to be different this week and choose a follow-up story that I’ve been writing about since July.

Andover First Selectman Robert Burbank is out of the hospital after an aortic valve replacement earlier in August and I was able to catch up with him this past week.

Burbank is home from the hospital

For some background on this story, go here and here.

I was late to this story. The Journal Inquirer in Manchester beat me in July. But I was able to sneak a story in the Chronicle the day after they did.

I continued to follow Burbank’s progress before and after his surgery.

When the story first broke, Burbank had his cellphone by his side in the intensive care unit. He was working on a STEAP grant for the town. He sounded really upbeat for someone in the hospital.

I really wasn’t expecting Burbank to talk to me for too long, being that he was in the hospital and quite unsure of his condition, at the time.  I didn’t have high expectations for that first story, but it actually came out pretty good.

I followed up on his surgery a few days after the first story, to make sure he was okay and to see how things were doing on the town side of things.

I don’t think any of the stories were over 12 inches. It’s kind of hard to put any filler into a story that really doesn’t need any. You say what happened and what the next step is. It’s simple as long as all of the parties involved talk to you.

On my last story, Burbank definitely sounded glad to be home. I probably thanked him 500x for picking up the phone and talking to me. We talked for about 15 minutes, with about four minutes focused on how he was doing. The rest of our conversation ranged from the bridge in town that is in need of repair and how he may be going crazy from being cooped up in his home.

These three stories were to let the residents know how Burbank was doing and what his timeline might be for coming back to work for the town. While covering an extra town with a full-time reporter out on leave, it’s been a bit hectic and my third story was overdue for a follow-up. I had this, this, this  and this going on since the second story had came.

Why This Story?

Well, it was a nice change of pace for me to write and it shows the “lighter” side of what I do on a regular basis. It’s not always about tax sales, accidents or fires. Journalism does shine a light on the good things that happen. I think that aspect of this profession can be skipped over easily.

This story had a lot going for it. It’s a pleasant piece that focuses on someone getting better. It’s not bogged down with information or explanations. It’s straight forward and let’s the reader know what’s happening. For me, it’s kind of nice to give readers a “happy” story.



One Response to Story of the Week 8/26

  1. Pingback: Story of the Week 11/11 « Just Starting Out

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