Friday, November 13, 2009


Kelly Brennan

As a reporter, you have to get your story. There are thirty minutes to fill for a newscast and you can’t show up empty handed. So when a story falls through and you’ve got nothing, that’s no excuse or reason to turn around and go home.

Katie Boyer (web reporter) and I set out to get a story for the Tuesday newscast. We had three ideas in mind that we made calls about and we were waiting for our calls to be returned in order to begin interviews. Well, five hours and many more phone calls later we thought we were going to be scrambling to find a last minute story.

At 3:00p.m. I got a phone call from a teacher in Athens I was trying to contact. He said we could meet him in fifteen minutes, so we hurried on our way. When we got there and started talking to him it appeared he completely misunderstood the reason for our interview, and he basically had no opinion or point of view on the story topic.

We were crashing and burning in every direction.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender
“We can’t give up. This is news we’re covering! News is everywhere!” I kept repeating this to myself as Katie and I drove around listening to Michael Jackson, hoping the King of Pop would keep our spirits up. We were ready to blow up with frustration.

I finally had my first logical thought in hours (insert lightbulb above head): What’s a news team without the newsroom? I figured we should call into the newsroom and ask if anyone heard of breaking news in the area.

Twitter updates informed one of our reporters that the Columbus Bomb Squad was on scene in Dover Township. Now if only Katie and I knew where to go then we could cover this story!

Finding Our Way
We drove through the Plains and into Chauncey on a whim just hoping we would see a bomb squad truck to point us in the right direction. I stopped at the first gas station to ask around, and I ended up being in the right place at the right time. A woman was in line purchasing cigarettes when I overheard her explain to the cashier that she couldn’t pick her dog up from her mother’s house because the road was blocked off for three miles.

I asked her if I could follow her to the street and she gladly agreed. She wanted to try one more time to convince the fire department to let her through the road so she could get the dog.

Follow the Dirt Road
When we arrived at the bottom of the hill, we parked next to a swamp on a dirt road and tried to get access closer the scene. There was no hope for anyone getting down the road though. It turned out that about 2,000 sticks of dynamite were found in an abandoned building in Dover Twp. At the time though no one knew how serious the situation was. It turned out that the dynamite wasn’t active because it had been there for so long.

Ironically, the case of dynamite in the abandoned building described how we felt that day. Katie and I felt like we were standing on a case of dynamite ourselves, ready to burst any second if we didn't find a story to cover.

Lessons learned: Don’t give up, talk to community members for information, trust your news team and follow breaking news! And oh yeah, if you find a case of dynamite, make sure you run...just in case.

Athens MidDay reports on the dynamite found in Dover Twp.

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