As I’ve written about before, newspapers have their own colorful lingo. One of the terms that you’ll hear frequently is “spot news.” These are the meat-and-potatoes stories about something that happened the day before: a car wreck, a school board meeting. I even wrote a spot news story this week about the Parks Foundation of Clark County’s annual luncheon.
But just like meat and potatoes, a menu containing all spot news does not create a pleasing diet. That’s why we do special projects.
Though not a newspaper term, we use it to describe anything that is out of the ordinary, specifically those that involve a lot of photography, video and page design. We’ve done a lot of these special projects over the last few years. One of the most memorable was the six-part series on former Vancouver pastor John Bishop. We did so many projects, in fact, that we sat down at the start of the year and vowed not to do too many of them at once because they are too much work.
You can guess how that turned out.
By my count we’ve had three in the last three weeks, if you include this Sunday’s planned feature on Austin Justin, a determined little boy whose dream is to play hockey, but was born with a genetic defect that made it impossible for him to walk, let alone skate. Photographer Alisha Jucevic has been following Austin for more than a year, and now he’s — well, I really enjoyed the follow-up story, and I think you will, too. Look for it in the morning.
Two weeks ago, Alisha teamed up with reporter Patty Hastings for a special project about a group of monks who live in White Salmon, how they came to be there, how the community supports them and vice versa. And last Sunday, Calley Hair and Amanda Cowan presented the first in what we plan to be a year-long series about what it’s like to be 3 years old, featuring the irrepressible Tobias Adams.