Simple as that. If it's not on video, it didn't happen.
The great Dan Garrity has said, "you want to make sure you get the shot of Jesus getting off the bus. Because if you get back to the station and Jesus got off the bus, you don't want to have to say 'I didn't the get the shot of Jesus getting off the bus.'"
Two stories this week when I was successful in getting the shot of metaphorical Jesus.
Tuesday I was covering a protest in Ashland when the picketers walked down Main Street. Police told them to move to the sidewalk. When they didn't, one officer took down the leader. What makes it more interesting, up until six months ago, he was an Ashland City Councilor.
It became such an ordeal that we folo'd the story Wednesday, talking with the former councilor and the Ashland Police Chief about what happened.
Other stations covered the protest, but not the march down the street. They definitely didn't get the smack down.
Wednesday I zoomed up I-5 to reports of breaking news. There was a possible water rescue on the Rogue River. We had heard some chatter over the police scanner, but didn't know many details. When I pulled up, I saw a man and asked what was going on. He told me he saw someone floating facedown in the river, jumped in, pulled him off of the riverbed, and performed CPR for about 10 minutes. It sounded like the victim didn't make it, so I was shocked when he told me his efforts had saved him!
It was about 9:45 when I got the interview and the video and jammed back to the station to have the story of the Rogue River hero in the 11. (Ironic that there's no online video for this story.)
We folo'd it Thursday. As did the other stations and the newspapers Thursday and Friday.
But we had it first.
There's a sense of pride that comes with getting the good story, getting it when no one else does, and getting it on tape.
I believe there's some luck involved.
But I also believe, "luck is what happens when preperataion meets opportunity."