I don’t cover soft news. Stories about lottery winners, runaway brides, weight-loss secrets, or how to beat speeding tickets are given to reporters with a talent for covering these gentler topics. A kind of talent I don’t have. Give me a high-speed car chase down the 405 freeway during rush hour, an out-of-control brushfire threatening multimillion-dollar homes in the Hollywood Hills, or a bank robbery shootout with police, and I’ll turn in a story that’ll keep viewers glued to the TV news instead of their smart phones and YouTube.
So after forty-eight hours of covering a commuter train collision that had killed twelve and injured at least another six, I couldn’t believe the story I was being assigned. “A Los Angeles resident called to tell us she found a big stack of cash on her front porch this morning,” the Channel Eleven news editor, David Dyal, said in the morning assignment meeting. “She thinks it came from a Good Samaritan and is giving us an exclusive on the story.”
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