Throughout the semester, some of the most educational newsroom experiences I have had have been during the 11 o’clock meetings. Having the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with others about what they have been writing has been very beneficial.
Often, points that are brought up about a piece are things that I would have just looked right over and not had a second thought about. It has pushed me to be a more critical consumer of the news, which I think has in turned helped me to become a better writer.
Today, Vox talked about their feature on opioid abuse. It was very long and well written piece and we had a great discussion on how Rick went about writing it and why he did what he did.
The last paragraph of the story is what sparked the most controversy in the newsroom.
Cody Marshall wasn’t a bad person. He didn’t choose to get addicted to heroin. He was a nice kid, just 20 years old, who was going through a rough patch of life. He saw an easy way to cope, and he took it. He became hopelessly addicted to the point where his actions were no longer his own. He deserved better from the state of Missouri.
I like it, I do. Yes, it would have been better if it had been a quote from Cody’s father, but it wasn’t. In some stories, an interjection like this from the author is uncalled for and out of place. Within the context of the story, this works.
I see the last sentence as a call to action for the citizens of Missouri. Addiction is a deep pit that for many, once you’re down there, you can’t get out on your own. I completely support Rick’s decision for including this in his story.