It’s my last few days before I leave for a week of vacation in Colorado, and I’ve been cramming in as much work as possible. Today I pulled together three Conway Daily Sun stories (all bypass related, which is always interesting), finished an NHPR Hurricane Irene update and pulled my first gig for NPR. Not a story, but a technological trick called a tape sync. NPR reporter Howard Berkes interviewed a guy in Madison by phone while I sat there with my microphone in his face. Then I shipped the quality audio recording to Berkes, who can pull sound from it that won’t sound like a telephone call.
And on Tuesday I got to chat with a reporter at NHPR about a story idea about I-93 that I’m in no position to do. I can’t complain when I’m having so many ideas that I can’t even get to all of them. That’s a bit how it feels at work know, which I love. Every day is guaranteed to be fast-paced.
Throw in a little radio and I’m in heaven. Now I have to get to sleep so I can do it again tomorrow.
Things just don’t seem to get any less busy.
F.E.M.A. is in town to help clean up after Irene, and the police department has a crisis on its hands that requires a special town meeting. Today I tried to write complex stories that just didn’t seem to be able to find a way out of me. If I were to sit down and explain it to readers one-on-one it would work, but with all the twists and turns it felt like I kept running into dead-ends. Luckily toward the end of the day it all started coming together.
These have been crazy weeks lately. I’ve got piles of stories I’m sitting on because they aren’t time sensitive and I don’t have the time. A month ago I had the opposite problem. I guess too much to write about is better than too little, but I’m looking forward to the weekend!
I went on the local public access television station several times recently with my friend Alec, who is the movie critic for the Sun, to critique movies. He put the first show up on YouTube the other day, which was on journalism movies. Check it out.
You can see part two here.
Yesterday I interviewed a woman who was blocks away from the World Trade Center buildings when they were hit. An officemate found two men who were working in the Pentagon when it got hit. A week or so ago I interviewed a soldier who was awarded a medal for his actions in Afghanistan. We are planning what should be a fantastic September 11 issue, much of the coverage directly linked to what happened that day or what came from it.
On Marketplace last night, however, they covered what impacts the policy shifts after 9/11 wrought. It’s a subject worth delving into, even though it’s ephemeral. I’m interested to see how other major media outlets approach the subject. What will reflection bring? What will the ultimate legacy of 9/11 be? Someone on Marketplace compared it to how the previous generation viewed JFK’s assassination—everyone knows where they were when they heard what happened. Those stories are bound to come out. What I want to know is how we approach 9/11 going forward. Hopefully the national media has the clarity of vision to ask those questions going forward.
I spent the long weekend not relaxing so much as chasing down one more chance to tell the story of Irene. Much of it was from the same neighborhood I’d visited during the week: Transvale Acres in Conway. But this time, instead of a pen and notebook I took a microphone. Here’s what came out of it:
The full link to the NHPR’s page for the story is here.
This is the bridge D.O.T. has installed over the Sawyer River on Route 302. It went in yesterday. Before that, people had to climb down into the debris and then out.
I saw a guy walk his bike over it and then continue on, so obviously it’s working. Not as well as some people would like, however. The guys working there said they expected to get the temporary bridge in and operational in three weeks. It will go on the foundation of the old bridge, which I was told got taken down 40 years ago.
So people are making do. It isn’t ideal, and a number of people have told me they can’t go to work because of the damage, but the darkest days are likely past.
Check out my Conway Daily Sun coverage so far:
And surely more to come.