Story of the Week 5/12

via nbcconnecticut.com

via nbcconnecticut.com the day following the shooting

Shooting victim’s mother seeks closure

I remember the shooting like it was yesterday.

At first, we had no information. I had to scramble to get a story together.

I’ve tried to follow the court proceedings as best I can. I’ve mostly been following up and keeping tabs on everything for some time, but I never had a story that really stood out.

It can be frustrating to follow a story and not having anything substantial along the way. I guess I’ve been asking too much of myself, but I really wanted to knock the latest court update story out of the park.

So, I decided to call the victim’s mother. I knew it would be a reach. I had no idea if she was going to pick up or not. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to say.

I was pretty surprised when she picked up and wanted to talk to me.

I asked her a few questions, but mostly let her talk. I know she’s told her story before, to other papers, but I think it’s helpful to her all the same.

I wasn’t exactly sure when the one-year anniversary was, but I made sure to ask her that.

What she told me was pure gold. I just had to keep up with typing what she was saying.

I didn’t tell my city editor about the interview until later that day. He was pretty pumped to have the story. And, so far, no other paper has done a one-year anniversary story. I’m glad I tried to call her. I was pretty happy with the way the story came out.

After I handed in my story, I had to change the lead. I made it a news lead and not a feature lead. It needed to be a feature lead because of the one-year anniversary. I thought I could get away with the news lead and Mike called me out on it.

It was a five-minute fix. It wasn’t a big deal. I should have done the story with the feature lead to begin with. That’s something I need to work on, for sure.

Let me know what you think of the story.

Jonathan

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