Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random thoughts on a Thursday

I'm having a tough time keeping up this week .. after being gone from our Akron office for most of the last two weeks .. and now working as the only reporter here.

A few quick thoughts before I run out to Tallmadge to be live in the 6 p.m. news:

It was surreal to stand outside the Donovan Funeral Home in Tallmadge today as the calling hours for Twinsburg Officer Joshua Mikarian began. Just as the first few dozen mourners appeared to pay their respects, a hard downpour opened up in the sky. It lasted only about 10 minutes but seemed fitting as tears from an entire community.

I also couldn't report on a major funeral in Tallmadge and not be reminded of Nate Deyarmin and Luke Emch -- each gave their lives in Iraq and was mourned in a large Tallmadge gathering. I think the people of Tallmadge can only take so much.

The death of Fae Evans behind bars is a tough one to quantify. I remember covering her court case in 1993 after her 3-year-old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans, was beaten and raped by Fae's boyfriend, Ronald Phillips, until the little girl was dead. It was the first murder trial I ever covered as a reporter (at the old WAKC back then), and one of the most brutal even to this day.
The 41-year-old Evans died of cancer yesterday while awaiting a hearing that might have freed her to spend her final days with family.

I'm frustrated that our station wasn't able to cover Monday's march on Akron City Council as community members who are upset with the shooting death of Jeffrey Stephens came out seeking answers. Our station's nightside photographer was already committed that night to a candlelight vigil in Twinsburg and we couldn't be in two places at once. (I was on vacation, so I didn't know anything about it until I returned Tuesday).

I'm hopeful that our station will be able to cover next Monday's rally by the APD wives and FOP members asking that the community continue to support the force 100 percent. Still, if we get to that rally without having covered the first rally, it seems unfair. Again, it's not that we chose to ignore one over the other, but the result can look lopsided.

I'm still looking to get to know my new roommates. WKSU-FM and PBS 45/49 each have taken on a third of our Akron Newsroom at 1 S. Main Street. I cleaned off all of their desks and made sure we had shelf space and room for their equipment when their leases kicked in on July 1st but so far, neither media outlet has set up shop.

Guess all those "welcome to the neighborhood" cookies will just have to stay on my desk ;)


Anonymous said...

To not cover it simply because you didn't cover the lies and innuendoes of last week would be a diservice to the community. I think what Akron needs is to cancel their Beacon Journal subsription, quit watching the sensational news you get on TV (especially your competitors with Bernie Kosar's old number) and for an independent voice to begin their own website service. Let's call it THE TRUTH IN AKRON. Shouldn't be hard to do a 15 minute newscast on the web.

Supporter of APD said...

Your station was where they should have been last week. Covering the death of a hero and a community showing support to it's police force. And Josh's death only reiterates the snap decisions our officers make daily. Decisions that decide who goes home to their family that night. The ones you call to protect you or the ones walking the neighborhood with a gun in the middle of the night? Yes. It seems the coverage was appropriate and I certainly hope your station is in front of the police station tonight. Where it should be. Seeing all of the faces big and small who wish to see their loved ones make it home to them at the end of their shift.

Tired of the stupidity said...

Shold the coverage be fair? Are you kidding me? The protesters/marchers got more coverage than they deserved on that day. A policeman who did not have his gun drawn and ready lays dead in the street. The two officers who do respond to a man with a gun appropriately thank goodness are not killed. Do these people marching for justice call the police for protection? Do these people for justice take care of their neighbors? Where are their cries for peace in their communities with the young people running roughshod with drugs and violence? Do they think these officers started their shift thinking hey let's go gun down a black man tonight? No. The people who marched that day needed no additonal coverage. How about checking in on a young widow and a little girl who's daddy never came home? That is coverage worth watching.