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.
Getting back with carbs (1/9/15, The Atlantic): Sometimes it all comes down to tone.
Strike the wrong tone for a story, and it will stick out like a cactus spine.
Strike the right tone, and it will flow like a waterfall.
In this case, The Atlantic strikes it right.
James Hamblin authors this piece about the redesigned Atkins diet — It limits protein! It allows for carbs! — and treats it with all the skepticism of a Daily Show correspondent. The wariness is warranted, as Hamblin chronicles the history of the diet and its several mutations.
The article is informative and entertaining, and it is accompanied by cartoon graphics and a musing sub-headline, all the underscore the curiosity of its subject:
“The reinvented Atkins diet flirts with reason.”
School or no school? (1/6/15, WITI-TV): On a week when so many were looking for creative ways to describe the cold temperatures, a reporting team in Milwaukee found a gem.
They went to a stand selling frozen custard … and still selling well, even in single-digit temps.
Reporter Ben Handelman and photographer Joe Wagener take a straightforward topic — Will there be school tomorrow? — and approach it in a creative yet engaging manner. This is an example of embracing the wild weather and making the most of a potentially easy assignment.
The greatness of Stuart Scott (1/5/15, ESPN.com): The sudden death of ESPN legend Stuart Scott brought numerous retrospectives and reflections.
This was the one that, to me, stood out the most.
J.A. Adande, Scott’s colleague at ESPN, wears his heart out loud here, fully admitting the difficulty in writing such a story while so distraught over losing an icon and a friend. Adande attempts to summon Scott’s tireless work ethic, and he succeeds with paragraphs like these:
The higher-ups at ESPN told him to stay home and get better. He defied them and kept coming to work. To him, that was getting healthier. Every time you saw him on TV the past few years, it was a testament to how much he loved his job.
We should think of his later TV appearances as a great game that went into overtime.
Have a suggestion for “3 Great Stories of the Week”? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.