Sunday, April 17, 2011

OC Register Reporter's Life-Saving Story Offers Glimpse at Journalism's Challenge, Thrill & Joy

Every once in a while, there's a story that really, viscerally reminds me of why I got into journalism, why I stayed it in for two decades--and why I consider myself a journalist for life even if I've been committing repeated acts of public relations for the past half-decade or so.

It's the opportunity to play a significant role in skillfully relating stories of significant people, events and issues. Along the way, the gratificaton deepens if you can capture elements of the story that other reporters would never come close to touching.

The other day, that feeling came upon me when I read a masterfully written piece by Lori Basheda in the Orange County Register. With meticulous reporting and suspenseful writing, she had my heart pounding (literally) as I took in the life-saving effort of pro surfer James Pribram as he pulled a 22-year-old woman from the Pacific Ocean.

You can read the story here on the OC Register website.


P.S. After posting a link to the story on my Facebook page, one friend noted that it brought back memories of her own near-drowning experience many years ago. And that remark just now reminds me of my own mother's recounting, more than a few times, how she nearly drowned as a young adult--and survived thanks to a life guard's rescue.

There is something about near-death experiences that is, understandably, so gripping. What about you? If you're like most adults, it's not a matter of whether you have such a story, but which one stands out in your memory? I encourage you to write about it, even if only for your own reflection.

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Madness? No, Uncommon Courage: Butler Coach Stevens Suspends Four of Five Starters

Some will decry the move as March Madness gone too far, but I say it will undoubtedly go down as one of the most courageous coaching disciplinary decisions ever.

As was reported first by an Indianapolis television station (see link below), Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens has suspended four of his five starters for unspecified "team rule violations."

As a result, the Bulldogs are now short-handed for their Final Four semifinal match-up against Virginia Commonwealth University.
Brad Stevens makes decision "based on principle"
You can read about it in a story posted this morning.

The bright side: if Butler somehow manages to win on Saturday, the four suspended players--all but Matt Howard got the temporary heave-ho--will be back in the lineup for the NCAA championship game on Monday night.

"I won't go into details, but it's based on principle that I've come to this difficult decision," Stevens said. "You can't spell team with the letter `i,' unless you want to spell it incorrectly."

P.S. As must be abundantly clear by now, the post on Friday (aka April Fool's Day) was indeed a bit of April 1 mischief, courtesy of Inside Edge PR. At least four readers confessed, in various ways, that they believed--at least for a few moments--the account of Brad Stevens suspending four of Butler's five starters. Now the question is, how will the Bulldogs win over mighty Connecticut, even with all five starters suited up for action?

-Matt Baron, April 4, 2011, 7:30 am.