Every week, I will shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.
We have reached the halfway point of 2015, which has brought about some strong journalism about riveting topics. With that in mind, the time is right for some “Best Of” editions of my 3 Great Stories segment.
I posted my three favorite written stories of the year so far next week. This week, my three favorite audio/video pieces from January through June, along with what I wrote about them back then, with minor edits for clarity:
South Carolina officer is charged with murder of Walter Scott (4/7/15, New York Times): There is no doubt about it.
The most powerful piece of storytelling this year came from a citizen’s cell phone camera*.
A South Carolina man captured video of North Charleston police officer Michael Slager shooting a man named Walter Scott five times in the back, killing him. The clip launched an arrest, an avalanche of coverage, and a new chapter in the conversation on law enforcement.
As for the accompanying article, New York Times writers Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo wisely let the video do most of the talking, playing it straight and telling a thorough story. The Times received the video from the Scott family’s lawyer, and it sure made its mark.
*I debated whether to categorize this as written or audio/video, but I went with the latter because the video is truly the story here. This piece had such resonance because of the cell phone camera video, not the accompanying article.