3 GREAT STORIES: Starring Russia, J-school, & the World Darts Championship

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.

Putin led a complex cyberattack scheme to aid Trump, report finds (1/6/17, New York Times): I often feel like we’re losing our appreciation for thorough, straightforward reporting that provides both the news of the day and the appropriate context.

Here is an example of how that can look.

Michael Shear and David Sanger put forth this front-page piece for the New York Times, giving the latest findings from US intelligence officials regarding Russian hacking efforts during the 2016 Presidential election. They provide a link to the public report, which itself is a worthy read. But they show, through their work, many of the hallmarks of a strong reporting foundation. They also present their findings in a digestible way.

Why new journalism grads are optimistic about 2017 (1/3/17, Poynter): Speaking of research and thoroughness, Poynter’s Al Tompkins goes about this article in an interesting manner.

He sets out to get a sense of how the current wave of college journalists feels about its profession, so he reaches out to trusted professors to find a collection of their best students. He then asks those students a series of basic but thought-provoking questions about their views on the business.

And he gets some heartening answers.

I enjoyed this survey — and Poynter’s presentation of its results. I especially appreciated the idealism and optimism of the young journalists. Few of us get into this industry for the money or standard of living; most of us get into it to tell stories and make a difference. Kudos to these students for possessing that passion and wanting to use it to learn how to be a journalist.

Why you should watch the World Darts Championship final — even if you don’t like darts (1/2/17, New Statesman): I present to you a three-step challenge.

1) Click on the link to this article.

2) Scroll down to the video of the record-setting performance of darts player Michael Van Gerwen, and click the Play button.

3) Try not to get hooked.

I had not given darts a second thought — check that, a first thought — until I came upon this piece in the New Statesman. Writer Daniel Harris approaches his subject with such color and confidence, describing the sport (?) of darts in a way that makes you wonder what you’ve been missing.

In my case, I clicked on the video and found out … and was entirely entertained.

I may never give darts a second look, but I enjoyed this first one. That’s a testament to Harris’ work.

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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