When I was a reporter the story I hated getting, and did my best to dodge, was the one where you had to go speak to a family after a loved one had died. There are few worse feelings in the world as a reporter than staring at the phone, willing yourself to make the call or, even more harsh, standing in front of the door and willing yourself to knock on it.
But reporter Derek Neary managed to find the will and produced an absolutely heart-breaking story involving the mother of the man who jumped out of the flight to Cambridge Bay on April 15. It got plenty of headlines because of just how strange it was at the time.
However, if you can read the following paragraph and not have your heart break, just a little bit, then you're got a stronger one than me. It's a quote from Navalik Helen Tologanak about her son, Julian.
"I just hope that he walked to a cabin, but it's been a week now," she said on April 21. "I'm hoping, but I don't think so."
He, of course, jumped from a plane at 23,000 feet.
The rest of the story is just as heart breaking. These stories are a bear to write, they really are. And this one is really, really good. He's probably going to win an award for it. Plus there are follow-up stories about Julian's last day before getting on the plane, how he could have gotten the door opened, and a story on suicide prevention.
It's a nice package. Perhaps the CBC got this beforehand, but I haven't heard it. I try not to praise local media too much (it's best to crush their egos...it makes my life easier...;) ), but this is a nice job of covering a hard story. And one too easily written off as sensational, given the subject matter.
1. Blowing bubbles - The Pursuit of Happiness
2. The Great Salt Lake - Band of Horses
3. Mysterious ways - U2
4. Challengers - The New Pornographers
5. The laws have changed - The New Pornographers*