Week of Good Stories–Folsom City Works Days

Published On May 28, 2016 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, Shooting News

This is the first of something special here. A series called, “Week of Good Stories.”

This is not meant to imply “feel good” stories. Although they all are very positive.

In TV news, journalists/photojournalists can go weeks, months without turning a story that they like or that stands out or that they are proud of. This past week or so has been, professionally, one of the most satisfying weeks I can recall. Almost every day has produced a news story that has stood out.

I shall be posting these over the next several days. (I’d post them all at once, except I am in the process of moving and am juggling a dozen things at once.)

It has been a while since I’ve done a same-day reporter-photographer package. Just over a week ago I was sent out to shoot a Q&D–quick and dirty–VO of a little community event. Happens every year. But I thought it was unique and a standout and, as I was shooting I thought the people and the kids were so interesting that it was screaming out to be more. Driving back to the station I pitched it to the assignment desk and the producers and . . . I’m just grateful that we has more photographers on staff that day than there were stories to be covered.

The event: the City of Folsom, California, City Works Day. The city has vehicles from all their departments–fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, dump trucks–and parents bring their kids to get behind the wheels and get their picture taken.

I’ve never, in all my 30+ years in the business, have heard of any other city doing this. But it’s really a cool event and–well, just look at the story to see how families turn out with their kids.

I will admit to “crossing over a line” in this story–where I interjected myself, saying the “I” had never seen something. For some journalists that is wrong, that we should keep ourselves and our observations removed from a story.

I differ there.

I believe that journalism is–not for all stories, but for some–an extension of the personal journey through life. That a news story is also a journal entry. What we’ve learned that day. What we’ve observed. What we are sharing and want people to know about. To interject your own personal observation is relevant because, after all, who is telling the story in the first place.

This is something I would like to try more at some point down the line, where appropriate.

In this case, however, it was both observational–and humorous.

I will confess: if I can throw in something that is both funny and true–I’m going to pitch that hardball!!!!!!

In this election year, so many people trash everything about government that about paying taxes, with a parent disregard for everything that those taxes pay for and that government provides:

–Fire department
–Emergency ambulance services
–911 emergency calls
–Street lights
–Airport safety


You may not like some of these things that government takes care of. And certainly there are individual offices in agencies that are better than others, and others that occasionally drop the ball, but without government, there would not be any of these.

And if there are trucks involved in any of these–kids are going to think they’re cool!

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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