Saturday, August 18, 2012

CAUGHT IN THE WEB: 'I'm older than my years'

This was written as a column for the Sunday 8/19/12 editions of The News-Herald Newspaper. Enjoy.

Last week marked one year since I started working at The News-Herald. No one in the office even realized it at first, and, no, there wasn’t a big fuss. Probably because they all know that I wouldn’t have wanted that anyway.

While I’m not much for throwing a big fuss about myself, I am one to look back and take stock in things. I’ve been told that qualitymakes me seem much older than my age, 26 years, eight months and three days as I write this. I think it gives me a unique outlook on life. I’m careful, most of the time very measured in my actions, and, yes, maybe a bit older than my years.

A year ago I wrote a column about how nice and welcoming everyone Downriver was during my first few weeks at the paper. I mentioned how I hadn’t run into a single sour person while I’ve been out in the area. Well, that’s changed a bit. I have run into a few people who weren’t exactly happy, but most of them were justified, and the others, well, let’s just say they are the exception that proves the rule.

In my first column here, I wrote about transitions. Well, I’ve gone through a bunch more over the year. I started out covering Allen Park and Melvindale, then in November I moved over to being a sports writer — which is how I initially broke into the industry when I got my first professional gig at 17.

That was a perfect transition for me, as it was just in time for wrestling season. I love the sport, and Hank Minckiewicz, the sports editor, let me have the entire sport to cover rather than breaking up the beat and making me share. I was in heaven for the several months I spent in the department, but as opportunities happen, there was an opening in the newsroom again that included the chance to be more involved with shooting and editing video, and some design elements on our website. As much as I hated to leave our sports department, I had to jump at the chance and transition again back to a news writer. They were even nice enough to give me my old beat back.

I’ve worked with a lot of really great people here over the year, most still here, though some have moved on. But the group here is pretty tightknit and makes the office seem like a home away from home, most of the time. Which is great for someone who lives nearly 50 miles away and, thus, works long hours in order to cover things at night.

Enough reminiscing for now. though. It’s time to get to the point of this column — all the great things we’ve done on the Web in the last week(ish). As previously mentioned, I’m pretty involved in our video coverage these days, so I’ll talk mostly about our successes there.

Starting with last Friday, “The Dave’s” teamed up to bring you extensive coverage of Taylor Mayor Jeffery Lamarand’s contempt hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court. Dave Komer wrote a story, Dave Chapman took some excellent photos, and I took video of the entire proceedings. That’s when we got busy. Yes, the photos and story made it into our paper last Sunday, but we brought you extensive video coverage, extra photos and Web only extras to fully tell the story. We had a video of the entire 12-minute hearing, plus videos of several interviews afterward with people on both sides of the issue. Komer and I split up some editing duties and got it all up before we left the office Friday.

Komer also had exclusive video from a hearing earlier that week that we believe could have an impact on a potential perjury charge raised by Judge Kathleen MacDonald against Lamarand.

Tuesday afternoon got very interesting after I was notified that due to a technical difficulty Allen Park wouldn’t be able to record that night’s council meeting, which had been described by Mayor William Matakas as “possibly the most important” in city history after a state review team recommended that a financial manager be appointed for the city.

I started borrowing cameras from co-workers and rushed to the meeting and managed to record the entire thing, using five different cameras. The audio levels are a bit low, but the meeting, including the one-hour study session beforehand, is available in segments of 15 to 20 minutes on our website.

Make sure to navigate to and check them out, especially as you can’t catch the replay on public access.

Those are the types of things you can expect from our website if you visit daily.

One last thing: I’ll be in Judge John Courtright’s courtroom tomorrow morning for the continued preliminary examination of the evidence against Roger Bowling, the man charged last month with shooting and then dismembering the bodies of two Allen Park residents. Make sure to check back Monday afternoon for complete coverage of that case.

Contact Video Coordinator Dave Herndon at 1-734-246-0867 or Follow him on Facebook and @NHDaveH on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment