Bart Scott. (Sarah Simonis for The New York Times)
- Greg Bishop on New York Jet Bart Scott's trash talking
Without giving away much, I will say that I found his changes over time interesting to note. Given his experience, I wondered how I might have behaved, and I liked that he had chosen to give us readers this opportunity.
Perhaps more importantly, it is informative; his observations provide us with undeniable information to file in the departments of kidnapping, the Taliban, Afghanistan, Pakistan, foreign correspondence, etc.
Further, I was compelled by several passages. I found myself flagging several lines. The beginning, middle and end of his story clearly stood out to him, and, as a result, they are clear to us readers. We do not have to read overwritten sentences. He gave us a story and some thoughts on the side.
Altogether, I applaud the Times for publishing the story the way it did: in full, in the first person, with multimedia, on the front page.
I wonder what Rohde or the Times will do to promote this story more. Will Rohde expand it or incorporate it into a book? Maybe. Will the Times nominate it for a Pulitzer? Probably. Will the story be made into a movie? I wouldn't rule it out.
The two men waited a bit, then made their way out of the room into a courtyard. The [sic] lost eac other in the darkness for a moment, before linking back up. With Mr. Munadi leading, they scuttled along a narrow ledge along the outer wall of the compound. "We could see nothing more than a few feet in front of us," Mr. Farrell said. "We had no idea who was where, and there were bullets flying through the air."Later in the article, Schmitt writes that Farrell blamed himself for Munadi's death and quotes Farrell as saying, about Munadi, "He was trying to protect me up to the last minute. ... he moved out in front of me."
After crouching and running for some 60 feet, the two men got to a corner. Mr. Munadi was about two feet ahead of Mr. Farrell, and walked out into the clearing saying in an accent, "Journaliste, journaliste." It was not clear whether he was assuring commandos that he was not a Talib, or assuring the Taliban that he was not with the commandos. There was a hail of bullets — unclear whether from friend or foe — and Mr. Munadi fell.
Mr. Farrell said he reared back from the gunfire and dived into a ditch. He waited a couple of minutes until he was clear which direction the British voices were coming from, then shouted, "British hostage! British hostage!" A few seconds later with hands raised high, he walked to the British troops and safety.
With pleasure, we announce that Andrew Astleford has won this year's Atwater Writing Contest.
Submissions were exceptionally strong this year and made for some terrific reading, and we thank everyone who entered.
Andrew wins for three stories: "Seeking Relief, McHale's Life Took a Fatal Turn," about the late Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tom McHale, published in The Washington Post; "A Pitcher's Dual Dreams of Delivering at Sea, on Hill," about Atlanta Braves pitcher Mitch Harris, also in the Post; and "Daniel stayed true to his Tigers commitment," about the quarterback's loyalty to MU even when Texas came calling, in the Columbia Missourian.
The stories showed wonderful descriptive writing based on detailed reporting as well as strong use of dialogue. "He gets me in the beginning and takes me all the way to the end of every story," one judge said.
Andrew, who comes from Dodge City, Kan., is in the magazine sequence and plans to graduate in December. His summer schedule includes the Poynter Fellowship for College Journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Midwest Writers Workshop at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.
Andrew spent two semesters at the Columbia Missourian under sports editor Greg Bowers and interned at the Orlando Sentinel and The Washington Post. Andrew placed 12th in 2008 and third in 2009 for sports writing in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program and third in 2008 for explanatory writing for the Associated Press Sports Editors. For the past two years, he has been named among the top 100 college journalists in America by uwire.com.
Andrew is now in Jacqui Banaszynski's intermediate writing class, and here is a link to a story from that class that appeared last week in the Missourian about former football Tigers Pig Brown, Darnell Terrell and Xzavie Jackson:
Andrew receives $600 and a copy of Eudora Welty's memoir "One Writer's Beginnings," which was a favorite of the late Jim Atwater, former dean and faculty member of the Missouri School of Journalism. This annual prize is given in memory of his love of writing, this J school and its students.
Please join us in congratulating Andrew.
One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex
By David Barstow of the New York Times
Read the story
my thoughts as a journalist
There is very thorough reporting strung together by consistent chronology in the piece. As a journalist, the question that first arrives in my mind is “how in the world did he get such transparent access with all of these top figures?”
There is a good story arch within that chronology as well. First of course the story shows McCaffrey’s credentials and why he was such a hot commodity. But then it dives into what he did, what it led up to,
I wonder what his notes looked like. How did he interview these high profile people and get information out of them? How did he organize his transcripts and turn into the story I read today?
This story arch is important in showing the complexity of the problems investigated in this piece. If it were just a list of facts, it wouldn’t be at all apparent to how deep the story goes or how much one man’s actions dangerously pervades the system.
As a reader:
It’s interesting: earlier today I was cynically thinking to myself “I wonder how much good ideas or readings actually do. Do they actually incite emotion or promote change of some sort?” But then I read this story and realized how as a citizen it makes me angry to see this going on and how much tax dollars are being wasted by bribes and greed. It’s not like I can do something about it right now, but maybe someone can as legal actions take place and people
It also raises the questions of how do consumers interpret and trust media outlets? Sure, a news organization might be credible, but if it’s unsure how their analysts are benefiting or not benefiting from a particular viewpoint, part of the credibility is stripped away.
I noticed that the winner of investigative reporting category had two corrections on the Times’ Web site, two days apart. It is interesting that a piece of journalism with two corrections was still at such a high caliber to win the most prestigious of journalism awards.
Girl in the Window
By Lane Degregory of the St. Petersburg Times
The alliteration and word usage at the beginning works powerfully. Often the perception of cops entering a house is one of authority, not stumbling back to the sunlight and vomiting in the yard. The words, too, that the “rookie renched” somehow gives the words more power than just simply saying “the cop threw up.” We were learning about word usage yesterday in intermediate writing, so I’m pleased that I noticed this so quickly and was able to observe the power it had to the beginning.
Detail, detail, detail infiltrates this story creating haunting imagery of what the little girl was forced to endure. I cringed and grimaced at my table in kaldi’s as I read of the conditions. Now THAT'S good writing then.
The reporting in this also was wonderful with the storytelling archetype of Danielle seeming to be a “rising from the ashes” figure.
I thought it’s interesting with how Degregory decided to end with info about the mother’s whereabouts and her background. I’m glad they included that and it seems to fit well at the end.