Celebration Day

I had another GA shift yesterday, and it was, well, especially productive. Meaning: I managed to write not one but two stories!

(That said, I have to admit that the use of the word “story” here still seems a little bit weird for me — probably because I’m a foreigner. I mean, I always thought that a story should have a plot, right? Like, there’s a reason they call it a storyline. But that’s how a journalistic slang is, I guess.)

Here’s the first one: Columbia police seek public’s help in downtown shooting investigation.

Well, that was an easy one, since I basically rewrote the release issued by the police. Still, the news itself puzzles me a bit. Just think about it: someone obviously fired a gun Saturday night in downtown, right after bars and clubs closed, so the streets  should have been crowded. And the police can’t find any witnesses and has to ask for help. How is it even possible? I guess we’ll have to see how this develops.

And here’s the second story: Almeta Crayton’s legacy to be celebrated at Douglass Park on Saturday.

Well, technically, here I had to follow-up a release, too. Still, it was more interesting, since I got to do some actual reporting and talk to people about this city councilwoman who died a year ago.

This kind of thing is always challenging in a way, because you get to talk to people who knew this person very well and actually care about her, and you’re just a reporter on his GA shift who spent maybe 15 minutes learning some information about the woman. But that’s how our job is sometimes, I guess. And I did OK, as it seems.

The most frustrating about this story (and this happens more often than it should, I have to say) was calling all these phone numbers, talking to voicemails and waiting for someone to call back. Fortunately, they eventually did.

The best thing about it? Well, this is easy: talking to Curtis Soul, a local DJ and a really passionate guy (maybe even to passionate for some people, but I liked him). Basically, I even didn’t have to ask a question — I just explained to him that I was a reporter writing a story about this celebration of Almeta Crayton’s legacy, and he just started to talk, and his speech almost sounded like a sermon. And his brilliant quotes made this formal story much more lively and humane.

Here’s for you, Curtis.

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