« News Writing Taboos | Main | Eclectic News Mix from Harrisburg to the Moon »

November 7, 2005

Amanda's Presentation and More

Amanda Cochran’s presentation today reminded me just how skillful a reporter must be. He or she must persist to get that relevant source and quote. Not to mention, the technical knowledge needed in crime reporting. A reporter also has to be political savvy but at the same time not politically active. Perhaps foremost, a reporter has to be thick-skinned.

Last night I saw the movie Capote. When I commented on Ashlee’s blog about his book, In Cold Blood, I didn’t realize a movie based on Truman Capote would soon be released. I read Capote’s book when I was a teenager. Needless to say, it had a chilling impact on me.

The movie was based on the five year period in which Capote wrote the book. Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) went to Kansas to write an article for the New Yorker about the Clutter-family murders which eventually turned into a book. (Mr. and Mrs. Clutter, their teenage son, and daughter were brutally murdered in their isolated Kansas farm house). Truman, because of his homosexuality and odd, high-pitched voice, was accompanied by Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). If you consider the year, 1959, and the place, the heartland, it’s not hard to understand why the editor wanted Harper Lee to assist him.

What struck me since taking this class was not only Capote’s persistence but his audacity. He actually snuck into the funeral parlor and peeked inside the closed caskets. On another occasion, after the murderers are apprehended and imprisoned, he bribes the prison warden to allow him unmonitored visits with Perry, one of the murderers. It seemed to me that there was no limit to the lengths Capote would go to in order to get his story.

Posted by NancyGregg at November 7, 2005 3:14 PM