I just finished writing my “year ender” story for tomorrow on the October snowstorm. This follows stories on the January snows, Springfield tornado and Hurricane Irene. This has been a seriously busy year for weather.
Though we all have vivid memories of October’s “snow from hell” that’s not the way news stories are written. I went to the archives to watch reports recorded during and after the storm. It was important to be fact, not memory, based.
As always “fog of war” becomes instantly visible. There was so much we didn’t know while the snow was falling nor soon after it ended. You find that in every news story. What seems like facts sometimes change over time.
I found a bite from CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross recorded on the sunny day before the snow began. He was quick to say what CL&P was supposed to do. When recorded he surely believed what he was saying.
He’d probably like his words back right now.
This is the most complex of the four weather stories because so much of the impact went beyond weather. I could have wiped the floor with promises made and not kept! There wouldn’t have been time for the weather part of the story.
Here’s how it works from here. The script gets emailed to our 4 and 10 PM producers and our video editor. I also emailed her my voice track. Tomorrow, before I leave the house, the story will be cut.
My instructions are moderately detailed and referenced with the video I’d like used. There’s still plenty of latitude for Kristen who will edit the package to add her input. She definitely knows where the good video can be found. It’s her story too now.
I didn’t get to do packages like this or my science/tech stories while at Channel 8. They are at once taxing and satisfying. There is a great sense of accomplishment when they run.