Story Behind The Story

What Is The Solution To This Recent Violence In Columbus?

You know how I told you the other day about how we went out and shot a story, only to be diverted to another story? Yeah, it happened again. (And you know what, sometimes it’s just the name of the game)

See, Mark and I left shortly after our afternoon editorial meeting to head out and begin shooting a story I had set up and pitched to my managers.  We arrived at the location, shot an interview, got some creative video and were well on our way to putting a solid good story together for the 11 pm newscast. (In case you’re wondering, the story will air tomorrow… I hope!)

See, it wasn’t long before the ol’ Blackberry shook violently to let me know I had an email.  It was from my producer. Basically, it said my story was changing to one which involved (drum roll please) Columbus violence. It’s no secret things have been flat out violent in Columbus over the past several days and weeks. It seems like I’ve been at the scene of a shooting at least once a day, some times twice a day. (I’m crossing my fingers that today is not one of those days.)

The gist of the story is that on Friday morning, Mayor Coleman and Columbus police brass are meeting in an emergency meeting to discuss how they can step up efforts to curb this violence. (Trust me, we’ll be all over that story.)  In the meantime, our goal today was to see what community members and community leaders had to say on this issue. You’re the ones who are living amongst this violence, so why not approach you for your opinions on putting a stop to it?  (Makes sense, right?)

First, we contacted and met up with a community leader over off East Livingston Avenue. (Not far from that shooting yesterday that killed a 16-year-old boy)  We spoke to him on a number of issues, one of which was what he wanted to hear from the mayor and police tomorrow. In short, he says he wants to hear of their plan of attack, as well as specific steps they will take to make that plan reality. As he put it, “It’s good to acknowledge we have a problem, and dialogue we have a problem, but without a force of action and how we will remediate that issue, it will not go away.” (I used that quote in my story.)

After a few minutes, the interview was shot and we were on our way. We had our community leader, so now it was time to find those of you who simply live in the community and who have opinions on what steps need to be taken.

Fortunately, it didn’t take long for us to find a woman who has been living on the city’s east side for the last 50 or so years. (You read that right!) She told us about how great her neighborhood used to be and how it’s been on the decline for the better part of ten years.  She really gave us good perspective on how this violence and crime has impacted someone who has certainly seen better days. She told us how she’s been the victim of a burglary and how she has had a security system installed in her home.  She also told us of the fact she is afraid to even go outside at night. Her interview helped us add a personal touch to the story. (At least I think it did.)

In a separate neighborhood, we came across a couple who was sitting on their porch. Of course, me being a reporter, I approached them and asked what they thought. While they had great opinions, they didn’t have much interest in going in front of a camera. (It isn’t for everybody.) However they referred me to their next door neighbor (and I’m glad they did.) He also gave a great perspective from someone who is living amongst the violence.

Following that third interview, we shot a couple teases and we were on our way. We had everything we needed to put this story together.

As for that initial story, hopefully we’ll be able to put that together for you tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/22 at 07:17 PM



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