Wearing The Inner Fedora And Getting The Scoop

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The world of news is continually changing. A testament would be to the social media networks covering the death of Michael Jackson. The thing to remember though is that even with the instant nature of breaking news (which is still being touted 16 hours later on CNN as I type this) that we have forgotten some important things.

And Joe Larkins reminds us of one scrappy reporter that held the news reins earlier this week regarding the unusual disappearance of an American governor.

If there is ever a reason that newspapers should NOT go away, think Gina Smith.  Smith is the reporter who broke the story about the Governor of South Carolina who was not hiking the Appalachian trail but was instead strolling through the old Grand Tetons while down  in Argentina.  Actually what I find amazing is that any news organization would be interested in spending the manpower on  staking out TWO locations (the airport in Atlanta and in Columbia) to meet the governor.  I think it is safe to say that Gina Smith will have several job offers here very soon if she is not fielding them already.  She has what is missing in so many newsrooms these days…imagination, instincts and the support of managers who actually care about real news instead of what passes for news anymore.

Smith had the support of managers that allowed her to track a story and apparently gave her the breathing room to do it correctly. This is the difference between investigating the news and just reporting news, such as the case of the mass celebrity deaths this week. Of course people are oddly intrigued with the death of famous folks, but the reality is that there is actually more news going on than the death of the smiling angel, the laugh of the good-hearted second banana and the King of Pop.

I can only hope that managers in news organization remember the story of Gina Smith, who was allowed to go with her instincts and not halted with excuses of budget cuts or lack of administrative interest.

Don’t get me wrong, the way the Jackson story broke yesterday was mesmerizing as Twitter and Facebook sputtered a bit to keep up with the volume of interest from concerned fans.  I was glued as well, comparing Twitter’s coverage with the cautious apprehension of CNN, which I write about here.

However, with the news cycle being about as long as a Twizzler these days, there are more stories out there on the horizon that will need investigating. As Christian Grantham calls it, we need the Smiths of the world wearing their inner fedoras because the Michael Jackson news cycle will end as well.

They always do.

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