Fault lines in the news

I decided to look at one of my own that I wrote for the Lost Coast Outpost. I think it is important to examine my own work because it is a way for me to hold myself accountable for the content I am putting out for the citizens of my community to consume.

I decided to look at my article titled, “Addicted: One Man’s Path to Sobriety After Nearly 30 years of Struggling with a Heroin Addiction.” 

It is an enterprise story and took me quite some time to gather the sources involved in the story. It features topics such as politics, crime, government agencies, health, environment, and civil rights.

It takes place, by Humboldt standards, in the urban environment of Eureka, but Humboldt County can hardly be considered an urban area when compared to an actual metropolitan area.

My story features images of experts and settings, but of the main stakeholder. I was a bit bummed about this because I used him as an anonymous source and felt that even having a silhouetted image of him, would have added more credibility to the story. I was however able to have audio of the man, so I feel that I was able to add credibility in that way.

I used eight sources throughout the story and six of them were male (I should say here that I assumed their gendered and should have asked how they identify. Most of the sources are from an older generation that is more binary in this aspect, so I feel comfortable in assuming their gender).

Most of my sources fell into the same generation range with one being 65+. I have contention with this categorization thought because it ranges from 35 to 64 and that encompasses multiple generations.

Most of my sources were white, but two I did not know their race and one was of Latinx heritage.

My story crosses multiple economic lines in the sense that it focuses on how a man who was formerly homeless, found his path to a sober lifestyle through the help of government services and employees.

I think I did a good job of telling the story of this certain individual and how his life path touched on a variety of fault lines. He moved from another area. He is from a low-income background and was helped by people in the middle and upper-income levels. I think my story here could incorporate more females and POC, but I would have had to really go out of my way just to include them. I tried to focus mostly on the people who have directly helped or hindered Henderson’s life.

I do want to focus more on reporting on different races and cultures here in Humboldt and I was able to do that yesterday. I wrote a story about Dia de los Muertos celebrations in Eureka. 

3 thoughts on “Fault lines in the news

  1. Freddy, awesome post! I agree with you that it is important to look back at your own work with a critical lens in order to evaluate any shortcomings. In terms of fault lines, I believe the two that stick out to me that you touch on are gender and generation. They both play critical roles in who you talked to and how you framed your story going forward. The real question is if these sources accurately reflected the epidemic you are reporting on. I agree with your idea that going out of the way to get sources who may have crossed fault lines but didn’t have direct impact in your primary sources life would have been reaching a bit. However, that goes back into the idea I was just discussing: is this group representative of those impacted by the heroin epidemic? Are their other marginalized groups based on gender, race, class or generation that have the same experiences in HumCo, if not worse? It’s probably impossible to answer this question in one story, but I believe it is good to evaluate going forward, especially if you ever decide to follow up on this or do something similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the self-critique!


  3. First I’d like to apologize for such a late response. I think it was such a cool idea for you to critique your own post. I really appreciate that you said you could’ve included more females into your article but I completely understand that it was a difficult task to gather all of your information in the first place. I think you did a great job breaking down the framework of Fault Lines!


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