3 GREAT STORIES: Starring candles, Peru, & a dozen scientists

Every week, I 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.

Hundreds gather in Roseburg to mourn shooting victims (10/2/15, KING-TV): On its own — and, really, that’s all that matters — this is a powerful story of the upsetting, unfiltered emotions of a community after last week’s school shooting in Oregon.

What makes it more impressive, from a behind-the-scenes standpoint, is how quickly this story was produced: from start to finish, in 70 minutes.

KING5 reporter Alex Rozier and photographer Dan Renzetti were dispatched to Oregon to find compelling stories, and they discovered one here in a candlelight vigil at a nearby park. Renzetti makes some beautiful maneuvers in his shooting and editing; I found particularly poignant his allowing a candle to naturally light one interview subject. Rozier writes the piece with care and context.

I would love to hear their takes on this, but I imagine the compressed time frame forced a certain level of precision and focus. Regardless, Rozier and Renzetti produce a package that brings home the emotions of a tragic situation.

How food became religion in Peru’s capital city (9/16/15, Smithsonian): When I traveled to Bolivia earlier this year, I was surprised by the innovation taking place within its food culture.

In its capital of La Paz, for example, we found a restaurant called Gustu whose chefs used local ingredients to produce off-the-wall creations.

I was overjoyed this past week to stumble upon this article, which shows a similar spirit — at a more advanced level — building in the capital of Peru.

Lima is a fascinating city, and native Marco Avilés weaves contrasting anecdotes between the dangerous backdrop of his childhood and the triumphant metropolis of his adulthood. He produces a sincere portrait for Smithsonian Magazine; if you read it, you might develop a hunger yourself — for a plane ticket to South America.

Meet 12 badass scientists who happen to be women (10/8/15, TED Fellows): Click on this story, and you will be greeted with a full-screen portrait that feels rarer than it should.

Displayed before you will be twelve women of varying ages and races, some smiling and some serious, all carrying an air of accomplishment.

Scroll down, and you will learn what makes them worthy of such a portrait. This piece, published to Medium by the TED Fellows program, describes a dozen scientists whose work and expertise are as diverse as their backgrounds. Their only commonality is their gender, which, if you check out the current numbers in science and technology, is a far too uncommon feat.

Have a suggestion for “3 Great Stories of the Week”? E-mail me at matt@tellingthestoryblog.com.

Matt Pearl is the author of the Telling the Story blog and podcast. Feel free to comment below or e-mail Matt at matt@tellingthestoryblog.com. You can also follow Matt on Facebook and Twitter.

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