3 GREAT STORIES OF THE WEEK: Covering the tragedy in Boston

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.

By the end of last week, several people I know who had been following the week’s tragic events in Boston told me the same thing:

“I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

That sentiment came to these people — and many others, it would seem, judging by Twitter and the blogs — after a week of being burned by speculation and incorrect reporting by the news media. From my vantage point, this week seemed like a tipping point for major story coverage; more often than not, by week’s end people would only believe what authorities and officials told them. FBI press conferences became the first official reports to be accepted and widely spread, as opposed to leaks of those press conferences.

For the most part, those who discuss journalism marked the week’s reporting as a low point for journalism. I will offer, in this space, three examples of strong reporting during the chaotic week:

The Saudi marathon man (4/17/13, The New Yorker): Amy Davidson chronicles the story of a Saudi Arabian who was incorrectly targeted as a person of interest in the bombing of the Boston Marathon. In doing so, she offers a poignant look at how one life was affected by the targeting of police and the massive coverage of media. Davidson leaves us with more questions than answers, such as this one at the article’s end:

And yet, when there was so much to fear that we were so brave about, there was panic about a wounded man barely out of his teens who needed help. We get so close to all that Obama described. What’s missing? Is it humility?

Terror at the Boston Marathon (4/15/13, Big Picture/boston.com): I am not going to weigh in on the more gruesome photos in this collection by the Big Picture crew, who are actually based out of Boston. I will say, though, that the majority of this photos capture fully the hysteria and magnitude of Monday’s horrifying events at the Boston Marathon. This collection, frankly, did not need the bloody pictures to bring home the day’s emotions; some of the most touching photos capture the bystanders and friends of runners, simply trying to find their loved ones or struggling to make sense of the situation.

National Anthem in Boston (4/17/13, Boston Bruins TV): How fitting that the most popular video of the week came from a non-journalist? How wonderful that, after the horrifying images we saw Monday, this video rose above it and became the defining moment of the week? The Boston Bruins faithful join their longtime Star Spangled Banner singer in the national anthem, and hearts nationwide are touched as a result.

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

One thought on “3 GREAT STORIES OF THE WEEK: Covering the tragedy in Boston

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Enter your email and keep up to date ...