Wednesday, April 4, 2007

MAKING THE STORY: Trollin’ On The River

-Adam Hinterthuer (Science Desk)-

Let’s get this straight right off the bat: reporting is the fun part. You get to go be someone else or, at least, walk a few steps in their shoes. It’s all about finding something interesting and then having an experience that will allow you to tell that story to people who know nothing about it. It’s fun.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture to prove it.

See? I’m having a grand ole time, and my story is about a horribly polluted river! (And, no the thing in my hand is not a weapon. It’s the oh-so-appropriately-named shotgun microphone)

But the real work starts when you get back to your desk. From a mountain of recorded sound, you must uncover your story and lay it out in a presentable fashion. Although I’ve never had the pleasure, I would compare the process to finding a dinosaur fossil. The initial discovery of a single bone gets things going, but it takes a whole lot of work and time to really unearth the whole skeleton.

So, the best part is over. I’ve investigated what DC plans to do about its polluted rivers, and I’ve ridden along with the people sent out to clean them.

But now, back at my desk, I’m listening to hours of interviews underscored by the soundtrack of boat motors, sea gulls, and passing traffic. There’s a story in here somewhere. I just have to keep digging.