Posted by: mindyrappoport | 07/06/2011

Fourth of July Issue

This week’s lesson at the Weekly was an interesting one: never underestimate what it takes to write a story, no matter what topic it’s on or how easy it looks like it might be to write. For last Thursday’s issue of the Weekly, I wrote a cuisine feature in which prominent figures around Boulder shared their Fourth of July favorites with readers. For this story, I interviewed a local Top Chef winner, the Boulder County mayor, sheriff, CU’s athletic director and an executive chef at a local restaurant. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised that I was able to get in touch with this many people for my story last week, especially VIPs in the Boulder community. I was thankful that they took the time out to talk to me before and even during the weekend as I pulled my story together for the June 30 (Fourth of July) issue of the Boulder Weekly.

Back to the lesson part, though. After finishing up my last interview on Monday morning, I sat down to write out what I thought would be a pretty easy to write, somewhat puffy feature, but had a feeling I would still struggle with. I was right; I like a challenge, so the more controversial the topic or more difficult a story is to put together, the more I thrive, but the flip side of that took effect in this case, and I struggled a bit to piece together a 900 to 1000 word story from five interviews. I’m not as proud of the final result as I was with other stories I’ve published in the past, but I’m not displeased with how it turned out either; I’m just thankful that it turned out OK in the end, and that so many people in the community were willing to be interviewed; I was only turned down by one person I tried to contact.

I’ve also realized how much I love reading our special or themed issues; the Fourth of July one focused on GLBTQ rights and had some very interesting articles. I think another reason why I love editing so much is because in addition to using my AP style skills, I get to read controversial, fascinating, and/or entertaining pieces on topics that I can tell the writer researched extensively.

Anyway, I also pulled together an online piece that listed different Fourth of July celebrations in the community so that readers could figure out their July Fourth plans if they hadn’t already. I was also proud that we scooped other Boulder-based publications on a Tidbite (small cuisine story) that I pulled together about a new Middle Eastern restaurant that opened on University Hill. All in all, a great week!

This week’s cuisine feature is going to be an interesting one. Check back next week for more info!

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