Friday, April 25, 2008

Sometimes journalism is lame

Last night I covered the Fayette County Commissioners meeting. I knew beforehand it would likely be boring, but I desperately needed a story and decided to go.

So, I got down there (a 45 minute drive from my office) just in time and found a seat. As I thought, it was boring and nothing news worthy really happened. Thankfully the meeting was going quick and the main part of it was over in about 40 mins.

Right at the end the commissioners dismissed for an executive sesssion (a private meeting where not even media is allowed to attend) and I was going to leave then. In fact, I was standing in the doorway when I heard one commissioner tell someone else they might want to stick around. "You might want to stick around. The real fireworks will begin later," he said. Hearing that, there was no way I could leave.

So I sat and waited while they had their private meeting. And then I waited some more and then some more. I was there for another hour just waiting.

They said the meeting was about some litigation taken against them, so I figured something big might happen with that, but when they finally returned they didn't bring the hammer I thought they would. Instead, they said they passed some zoning issues and talked about the litigation and that was it. Once they came back out, the public meeting was dismissed within 5 minutes.

All my waiting was for nothing. Journalism can be like that at times. Sometimes you do all this digging and all this waiting to find absolutely nothing. I guess that what makes it fun when you actually do find something.

I remember when I was covering Clayton County and was able to dig up some info on Commissioner Wole Ralph. He was going through a divorce with his wife and had her thrown out of a public meeting. He claimed she was stalking him and interfering with his work. He didn't realize she was at the meeting to make a presentation on behalf of Lovejoy (a city in Clayton).

I decided to look at the divorce papers and I found out he had taken a restraining order out on her. I called the wife to get some info and was told the reason she was calling him and trying to reach him was because he basically walked out on her. She didn't really know where he was or that he was leaving her. Oh yea, another thing I found out from the reports was that he was leaving her for another woman.

So sometimes, journalism pays off. Sometimes, like last night, it doesn't.

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