STORY OF THE WEEK: The follow up

Last summer we had one of those incredibly awful situations happen here in Nashville, a mother accidentally left her baby boy in her minivan during one of the hottest days of the summer. After the initial coverage for the first few days we left the story alone.

As it turns out our Chief Photographer Mike Rose is friends with the family and decided to reach out to them to see if they’d like to talk now that we’re entering the heat of the summer months. Mike graciously allowed me to help him out in telling this story. It had to be one of the most heart wrenching pieces I’ve had to write.

I posted this story for two reasons. The first is follow up. I keep a big excel spreadsheet with every story I’ve ever done, the date it aired and the numbers of people who we contacted. On slow days, go back and call those folks.. see how they’re doing and more than likely you’ll find there’s another story to tell.

The second reason I posted this piece is this. Use your heart when telling these kinds of stories. Be human. Write with compassion and empathy and care. When a family like this is courageous enough to tell their story, take the time to convey more than facts.