A Great Story Opportunity

A while back, I wrote a post about a few advantages newspapers have in the market and how they could use them to remain relevant. Using these assets–excellent writing, investigative journalism, and local marketplace branding–newspapers can give us something no one else can.

Today in the KNS, at least on their web site, there is a relatively short piece from the AP about a man who escaped prison 46 years ago and has been apprehended. This is the exact type of story I’d love to see local newspapers tackle. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to give me something no one else can give me.

Leroy Albert Morgan’s crimes occurred in Hamilton County, he escaped from a Nashville prison, and he was caught in East Tennessee, so it is of local interest. Using great writing and investigative journalism, why not tell us this story? Take us beyond, “he escaped in 1961, he’s been using an alias, and he was arrested this week.”

Tell us the story.

How did he escape prison, and how was he able to avoid authorities for so long? Has he been in Tennessee the entire time? Was he assisted by friends and family–how many people were in on it? What has he done in the time since the escape? What did the State do immediately following the escape to try to catch him, and why did these efforts fail? What (exactly) have they done since? How did they eventually track him down, how long did it take to find him, and how long have they known his whereabouts?

Seriously…this is the stuff movies (or at least made for TV movies) are made of. A good great writer can do some investigative journalism and tell us a great story from so many angles–the escapee, his friends and family, the penal system. And again, most bloggers don’t have the time and resources available to cover something like this.

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