Wick Communications

When history comes to town

In journalism on January 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm

There is way too much to say about Wick coverage of the shooting of nearly two-dozen Americans at a Tucson strip mall to do it justice in a single posting here. Suffice to say, many reporters and editors at our Arizona newspapers worked tirelessly to cover a story that touched us all.

I first learned of the shooting in an email from Copper Group Leader Tom Lee, who sent the following memorable e-mail at 12:21 p.m. Saturday:

Twitter feeds are coming in that Congresswoman Giffords and eight other people were shot this morning in Tucson.

Let’s get our websites moving.  Jimmy and Dave, please get Dan Gibson, Nintzel and others moving.

I am making calls as well.

Tom…

They ran to the shooting scene, staked out the hospital, discussed the fallout with local religious leaders, crime fighters and people who knew the victims. There is a lot of ground to cover and I plan on doing just that in the days and weeks to come. Once things calm down in Arizona I would like to schedule a conference call with some of the editors to hear just how they did it – and to hear any lessons they may have the next time something like this happens on our watch. And trust me: there will be a next time. There always is.

Until then, I wanted to talk a bit just about the planning that went in to the president’s arrival and speech. We only had a little more than a day to prepare. In that time, editors got credentials, planned story angles and made mundane logistical arrangements that are absolutely necessary. Among other things, they held a conference call the day before the speech, setting up an FTP site on which to share material and assigned responsibilities.

One result was this. Green Valley News Managing Editor Dan Shearer wrote this mainbar within minutes of the end of the speech. The story is polished and as good a breaking news story as you will read anywhere.

As I say, there will be more to come. But let’s all stand up and applaud some really fine journalism.

Clay

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  1. I want to comment, but find myself without words. Touching stuff.

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