Monday, April 27, 2009

Covering a hard story

Just a small head's up, but it's well worth your while to pick up a copy of News North this week. There's a story in there that's well worth reading.

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 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.

Last Five
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*


In Iqaluit said...

I just read the news/north article this morning. It very good -- and very sad. I think it is standard for media in the north not to announce every suicide. It was so good to read about someone's expereince. I wish it didn't happen. Helen Tologanak herself is a regular columnist in news/north.

Jason said...

One of the few articles I read all the way through. I agree, it was well written.