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Kudos to Patrick Hruby, ESPN.com...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by OnTheRiver, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I soaked up every word. I love when that site not only does these, but does them well.

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Not my cup of tea. He made it "his" story with the first sentence and turned me off. I've always preferred writers who write in a way that brings the reader into the story like Scott Price instead of those constantly reminding the reader that "they" are there.
  3. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    are you saying that this writer is so egocentric he gets in the way of his story?
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's not a criticism of the story - just a personal preference. I had a sports editor early in my career who always talked of his distaste for columns written in the first person. He figured the column has your name on it, maybe a picture - if the reader hasn't figured out its your perspective, even putting an "I" in every paragraph won't help them. And he always said our job as writers was not to get in the way of the story. Show don't tell.
  5. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    That was just amazing.

    That's what reporting is all about.

    Dan: I understand your point, and it would have been interesting to see it done in a less personal style.

    But, in the end, I thought he pulled it off well.
  6. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Definitely a good read.
  7. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    When I see "I" 12 times before I find the name of the person he's writing about...I'm done reading.
  8. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Holy shit. I thought you were exaggerating. But no.....12 references to "I," two to "me" and one more to "my," all in the first four paragraphs. Wow.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Not to mention a drop-cap.
  10. silent_h

    silent_h Member

    Thanks for the kind words. As for the "I" issue, I'm quite sympathetic to those who dislike it. However, I also felt it was the best way to tell this particular story, for narrative and practical reasons.

    Darn it, that's two uses of "I" in one sentence. Somebody stop me. (Does "me" also count?)
  11. VJ

    VJ Member

    Great, great story. Not real sure how else it could have been written with the same level of detail without including some first person. Instead of "Back in Dothan, Cook had told me Chroch was dead." was he supposed to write "Back in Dothan, Cook had told the reporter that Chroch was dead." Ugh.
  12. daemon

    daemon Member

    Generally I share an aversion to the first person. But in this case, I could have seen myself going the same route. This is the type of story I picture myself sitting in front of my laptop rubbing my temples wondering what the hell I have and how the hell I am going to portray it. The writer didn't have much in the way of concrete, damning evidence, making it difficult to write it hard. But he had enough people telling him enough things about Cook that his once feel-good story had clearly shifted. In the end, I thought it worked, particularly because the writer's wife was the interpreter. It is such a convoluted story that it is really best told through the writer's eyes.

    There is probably a way it could have been done that avoided some of the problems that have been raised with the beginning of the story. But all in all, a tremendous piece.
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