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.
I am on vacation — and out of commission — for the next two weeks, so I figured I would use these weeks to post “Best Of” editions of my 3 Great Stories segment.
I will post my three favorite audio/video stories of the year so far next week. This week, without further ado, my three favorite written pieces from January through May, along with what I wrote about them back then, with minor edits for clarity:
A star player accused, and a flawed rape investigation (4/16/14, New York Times): Wow.
This is how you research, write, and present a piece of investigative journalism.
Instantly one of the most widely spread articles of the year, Walt Bogdanich’s in-depth look at the Jameis Winston rape investigation produces incendiary highlights throughout. From interviews with relevant parties to a timeline of the events in question, Bogdanich offers a thorough look at what was done — and what was missed — throughout the aftermath.
No wonder the article has invoked such a reaction — both from Florida State, where Winston just led the football team to a national title, and from readers, many of whom followed the Winston coverage intently last fall.
How to fall in love with your city (4/22/14, Bitter Southerner): I’ll admit it: This story warmed my Atlanta heart.
A friend recently turned me on to the Bitter Southerner, a new web site that publishes one article a week about Southern culture. The articles share two traits:
1) They focus on a positive, uplifting part of the South, a region that often gets negatively stereotyped.
2) They look gorgeous.
I enjoyed the site’s earlier story ago about Atlanta Braves great Hank Aaron, and I found myself captivated again with this one. Writer Chuck Reece examines the #weloveatl Instagram movement, which has encouraged numerous Atlantans to submit more than 50,000 photographs that showcase what makes the city great.
The movement is powerful; so is Reece’s well-written and well-presented story.
Hiroo Onoda, soldier who hid in jungle for decades, dies at 91 (1/17/14, New York Times): I leave you with a powerful obituary about an unlikely legend.
In January, the Japanese government announced the death of Hiroo Onoda, a soldier who remained at his post in the Philippines for 29 years, not realizing World War II had ended. He returned to a hero’s welcome in 1974.
Onoda’s story is extraordinary, and Robert McFadden tells it masterfully in this obituary. The New York Times writer lays out how exactly someone like Onoda could remain at war long after his country surrendered, and one cannot help but feel for the soldier as one hears about his journey.
To say much more would be to spoil a touching story. Read it, and enjoy.
Have a suggestion for “3 Great Stories of the Week”? E-mail me at email@example.com.