Story Behind The Story

Heroin Use On The Rise In Central Ohio

So you want to know how we come up with stories - this is one good example of how.

Last week, I did a story about the Union County Grand Jury deciding not to indict the owner of Conklin Dairy Farms or any other employees on any counts of animal cruelty. (For background, just look back a few postings.) While there, the Union County Prosecutor told us about a big problem they are having with Heroin. As it turned out, for a recent case law enforcement had seized some video taken by cell phone of a 17-year-old girl allegedly using heroin. (Once I heard that, alarms started going off in my head this could be a potential story.)  A phone call and a few follow-up questions later, I determined it was a story worth pitching to my managers.

I did that today (Monday,) I got the thumbs up (minus the thumbs) and headed out the door to begin working on it.

The reason I’m telling you this is simple; as a reporter, we always keep our eyes and ears open for potential stories. Even when I’m “off the clock,” I’m looking for stories. Even when I’m sleeping, I’m looking for stories. Heck, even when I’m watching my fifth straight episode of Seinfeld, I’m looking for stories.  An idea can be sparked by anything, whether it’s a conversation with my wife or with the person bagging my groceries. (As long as the person bagging my groceries isn’t putting jars of pasta sauce on top of my loaf of bread! This coming from someone who spent a summer mastering the art of bagging groceries.)

After my photographer mark, intern Nishant and I finished up interviewing the prosecuting attorney as well as the founder of the Union County Drug Free Youth Coalition, we headed out the door to get some extra video for the story.

I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again,) sometimes we see things while we’re out that kind of make you wanna say ‘hmmm…’ Today was one of those days. We were outside the justice center in Marysville and we saw some guy on the sidewalk.  He was shirtless, wearing a bandana, smoking a cigarette and riding a bicycle made for (what looked to be) a 12-year-old. (a small 12-year-old.) Now, if that’s how you ride, more power to you. This guy, however, also had his young son sitting in front of him. (On the bar of all places…That couldn’t have been comfortable.) After a little nudge to Mark, a smile and a ‘hrmmm, well look that at guy,’ it was back to work.

To make good use of time, I called over to Maryhaven during the day to get some statistics so I could broaden my story. (In other words, I want to make sure there is something in my story for those who don’t live in Union County.)

Once back to the station, we shot the video the prosecuting attorney had given us showing the alleged 17-year-old doing heroin.  One of the most important things we had to do was blur, pixilate (whatever you want to say) out the teenager’s face, which (lucky for me) Mark is a pro at.

It also happens that today’s episode of ‘The Doctors’ had some clips from a 19-year-old who was apparently addicted to heroin. We pulled some sots (our fancy word for sound bites) from that tape to use in my story for tonight (all together now… ‘to broaden it.’)

I wrote the story, wrote the on-line article, wrote this blog…. That was my day….

P.S. – if you’re the guy I saw riding around shirtless, sorry to call you out… I couldn’t resist.

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/12 at 07:07 PM

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