I once had an organizer of a group ask me to go to a school and cover an event where the members were going to be issuing young students handmade hats for the winter; and of course, I thought that would make a cute little story.
I replied that I would take one or two photos to run in the newspaper a few days later.
Surprisingly, as I was ready to leave the building that day, the organizer stopped me at the door and demanded I go back and take a photo of each child. I smiled and just informed her that there just isn’t space for it -- nearly 100 students -- in a small newspaper.
When I got back to the newsroom, I mentioned the incident to my co-worker. He gave an enlightening response: To her, those hats are the most important things in the world. Yes, obviously they were more important than anything else!
Space is no issue on the ICN website, but I still want to strive for basic journalism practices. Brevity plays an important role.
I think it’s important not to dwell on any one subject for too long. The readers get it.
But it’s interesting to see what people think is important, or at least what they say is important. I notice that most resistance comes to new ideas: A new business, new apartment complex or an alley closure for example.
When I cover meetings, I frequently remember those hats. Now, at budget time for cities and counties, I have to put on my thinking cap and remember to keep it smooth for the readers, or they will click out of it fast! I would, too.
As a reporter, I maintain objectivity. But as a resident of Terre Haute, I always can picture the proposals in my mind. At any rate, no matter where you stand on local issues, you have to remember that for many people, there is nothing more important than that particular issue at hand.
Journalist, Terre Haute
Lucy Perry, 47, enjoys writing about issues in her hometown. She periodically expresses personal opinions in her blog, Terre Haute Times.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141