Here’s the backstory. The day before the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, one of our reporters asked to talk to a survivor. He happened to be one of the oldest living Medal of Honor recipients with an incredible story to tell. We’d interviewed him in previous years, but this time his family said no. Here’s why. They claimed every time anyone has interviewed him over the years, all they want to talk about is that one day. It got me thinking when covering the actual anniversary the next day. The goal was to keep the meaning of the day front and center, but try to give the viewer a story they haven’t already heard year after year.
Here’s the takeaway. Sometimes, we get so focused on what an assignment should be that we miss an opportunity. Just because we cover the same event as a dozen other reporters, doesn’t mean we have to ask the same questions. It doesn’t mean we have to tell the same story.