Tag Archive | journalism

Stories that touch you – Charles Attig

Rosa Attig holds up a photo of her son, Charles Attig Jr., who died while serving as a Shamokin Dam Police officer on June 10, 1983 after being shot.

Rosa Attig holds up a photo of her son, Charles Attig Jr., who died while serving as a Shamokin Dam Police officer on June 10, 1983 after being shot.

Every once in awhile as a reporter, you do stories that really touch you and really move you.

For me last week, it was the story of Shamokin Dam police officer Charles Attig Jr, who was shot in the line of duty in 1983, 30 years ago today.

Here’s the story I ended up with.

But what the story doesn’t tell you is that this story was one that just gripped me from the beginning. It is tragic, but the hero, “Charlie” as he was known, was a great guy and deserves to have his life celebrated for the great thing it was.

As you can see from the comments on the story, he touched just about everyone he came into contact with, acting as not only a good police officer, but as one of the people I talked to said, “a good neighbor too.”

His family and friends remember him as a great guy who only wanted to help others. It really affected me, in a way I can’t explain.

Please read the story and let me know what you think.

 

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Newspapers – Preserving family history for posterity. Just ask my dad.

Recently, my father brought home an old copy of the News Item he found in his childhood home. It was pretty cool to see how wide old newspapers were and how much things were back in the 1970s – I believe bananas were 9 cents per pound.

Here’s the front page to get a sample of how big that is:wpid-20130531_104448.jpg

That’s eight columns. Most papers today are six, and a skinny six at that in some cases.

But even though that is cool, we wondered why the newspaper had been preserved. Something special had to have happened that would cause my Mam and Pap to save the paper.

After we flipped the front page over – we didn’t have to guess any longer.

wpid-20130531_104440.jpgSee that handsome devil to the far right? That’s none other than Greg – in his about 16-year-old glory. He was newspaper boy of the year.

And he still looks exactly like that. Just with more gray hair.

So there it is, newspaper preserving these precious memories that would have been lost for all eternity – so that your kids can look back and laugh at you.

Just kidding – we only laughed a little bit…..OK, a lot.

Love you dad!

Election night and pizzas go together like PB&J

Yesterday was election night. Check out the results for the Valley’s elections here.

For journalists, that means a late-night shift including the newsroom staple: the election night pizza.

Pizza is cheap, most people like it and low-paid journalists will do just about anything for free food.

The Daily Item had them, and so did a lot of other newsrooms, as evidenced by tweets coming out of newsrooms from across the state. Here’s just a small sample.

Story goes Facebook viral

If there’s one thing I know about the news, it’s that people love restaurant news – what’s opening, what’s closing, what’s even thinking about opening a new location.

And now with social media, it’s even easier to get people the news they’re dying to know about.

Take, for example, a story that broke this week, that Texas Roadhouse is planning to take over the former Ruby Tuesday site in Hummels Wharf. I posted the story on Facebook, and it exploded. It got something like 150 likes.

But that’s not the most impressive stat.

Facebook metrics tracks a stat that indicates how many “shares” a story has. It shares this data on your newsfeed when you like a page to give you an idea of what people with similar interests are talking about. If there’s a really exciting story, sometimes it will have 200 shares.

Here’s the stats that popped up on my newsfeed Friday:

Untitled847?! Amazing!

Just goes to show you – sometimes it’s not the investigative, hard-hitting news people want to read…..it’s just as simple as checking zoning applications.

 

Regional pages

A little note on some cool social media things happening at the Daily Item:

Make sure to check out the new regional pages on dailyitem.com!

Venturing into the hyperlocal content, we’ve added regional pages, which roughly follow school districts in the area. They’re a cool way to catch up on local and school news in your area.

Here’s the “Our Valley” page, which collects all of the stories:

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Also note that the Daily Item’s twitter page is also becoming bigger and better, using the hashtag “#TheDailyItem” to expand conversation on social media.

I’m a huge Twitter fan, tweeting from my personal account every chance I can get. [Note: Let me know your username and I’ll follow you! I’m always looking for new follows!]

That’s what we’re doing here – but what do you want to see? Let me know!

When people aren’t happy to see you doing your job

If there’s one thing you have to get used to as a reporter it’s this: People generally don’t like it when you do your job.

I’m not trying to get into a deep psychological “we’re watchdogs of government” speeches – it’s just a fact that people don’t think very highly of reporters and you’re going to get snapped at or hear comments about “the media.”

Heck, sometimes they’re from my mother and boyfriend.

This sentiment was on full display this week when John McCain snapped at a reporter who pressed him about why he wasn’t at a briefing on the Benghazi situation, something he’s been very vocal about.

Slate.com has this video:

I can understand his aggravation.

But really, the CNN reporter was just doing his job. If he hadn’t asked, he would’ve been in trouble – just like anybody else who fails to do their work properly.

You see reporters are just like everybody else; we’re all just trying to do our jobs the best we can.