6.10.13 … “Why’s this so good?” …

Newtown shootings, good journalism: I read the article After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet – The Washington Post. It broke my heart.  It hurt to read it so much that I did not excerpt it here.  It left me limp.  Then I saw this post about why it was such a great piece .  It’s worth reading.  There is indeed “something deeper … at work here, involving emotional intelligence and authorial restraint.”

Sunday’s Washington Post carried the kind of story that can leave you limp for days. Rare anymore is the narrative that has such a visceral effect, but Eli Saslow’s piece about Jackie and Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son Daniel died in the Newtown shootings, is the kind you wake up thinking about, and cannot shake. “Into the Lonely Quiet” (online headlined “After Newtown…”) picks up with the Bardens’ struggle to resume life, and to honor their child’s death by working to change gun laws. Saslow gives us about 6,300 words on the subject, telling the story via carefully chosen scenes and a tight narrative arc: a morning with Daniel’s surviving siblings; an unexpectedly terrible outing; a fruitless lobbying trip to meet with uninterested lawmakers; a neighbor’s haunting revelation. The story’s technical merits become obvious to anyone who reads it, but something deeper is also at work here, involving emotional intelligence and authorial restraint.

via “Why’s this so good?” No. 78: Eli Saslow and “Into the Lonely Quiet” – Nieman Storyboard – A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

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