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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

No new is... no news



Did that get your attention? It's a little tidbit my friend Kally sent me today.

I spent today beating my head on the wall. Having gone through more than 100 pages of documents, I spent the morning in interviews with a variety of people involved in the insider story. By noon, I knew that the story was not what it had seemed, and by 2:30, I had dropped it. Which meant that the enormous space I had set aside in the paper for this article was now going to be blank space...

FUN!

The problem wasn't with the Insider. This person acted out of sincerely held beliefs and concerns and did a brave thing. The trouble is that the behavior that seemed suspicious on paper came with good explanations. Unlike people who have something to hide, every person I interviewed was happy to talk with me, generous with his/her time, clear, willing to answer any question I asked, even the rough ones. No one yelled or threatened or any such thing, which is very unusual for people who have big secrets to hide.

Now, unfortunately, those who were concerned about the goings on that I investigated will probably be very disappointed. Their essential issue remains, and it's an ideological issue that can't really be resolved through an investigation. Sorry to be so vague, but that's how it is. It's a matter of beliefs, and, in truth, everyone has the same goals in this case (it involves health care).

So, at 2:30 I had to come up with a full page of content, which I did in about 30 minutes, thanks to wire service. We're running a guest piece about the fact that last year was the deadliest year ever for journalists, with 55 journalists being killed in the line of duty and how freedom of the press is declining worldwide.

I hate it when I have to disappoint people. I hate it when I have to grill people. I hate it when I have to put something in the paper that is going to tear someone's life apart. But my obligation is to the truth, and today, I went fishing with a very long pole. I even jumped into the water with a net. And I caught nuthin'.

As Tessa says to herself at the beginning of Hard Evidence:

If the cops weren’t crooks, that was a good thing. Unfortunately, “Nothing Bad Happening” didn’t make for a splashy sixty-point headline.

Only one more workday left till I go on my 10-day writing vacation to try to finish my book! I'm very exicted and hopeful that I'll get through a lot of chapters between Thursday and April 2.

9 comments:

Ronlyn said...

I can only imagine what type of ideological concerns were voiced in regards to healthcare. I have many of my own working in the field. It's crazy. Sorry you came up with nuthin'. :/ That's tough.
On an up note, one more day! Woo HOO!!! How exciting!!

Ronlyn said...

oh, and YEAH you got my attention with that. :) You knew you would though. LOL

It is a crazy field in some ways, isn't it? My mom is an RN who was head nurse of her hospital's ICU for 12 years — a job you couldn't pay me to do — and now does cardiac rehab. The struggles they go through just to treat people who need treatment are ridiculous!

I've spoken with the Insider since I posted this, and this person isn't disappointed. Instead he/she feels that it was worthwhile just to raise the issues with these people and to get some answers from them. So we'll see where it goes.

And, yep, I KNEW you'd like that photo. :-)

Ronlyn said...

I'm glad the outsider isn't too disappointed with the outcome. They are probably right in that sometimes just asking the question brings an awareness...now if it's a big enough awareness to make a diffrence....who knows.
It is a crazy field. About once a week I shake my head at something that's come down the pipe from the "higher ups" and have to go to battle over something that I consider trivial. It's amazing.

Ronlyn said...

*snort* yeah, it's past my bedtime...I meant to say "Insider" not outsider. Geez. You'd think I'd been drinking if I could. LOL

Debbie H said...

Wow that was an eye opener!! Thanks!

Good job on the investigation. I worked in HR and Medical Records for over 10 yrs in hospitals and saw a lot of things I didn't think were right. At least the insider got some kind of answer about their concern.

I saw your post on the RBL site and you have some heavy writing to do in little time! I can hardly wait to pick up that book and start reading it. BTW, I will wait until after April 2 to send my books to you. Don't want to distract you.

Tammy said...

Pamela,
Sorry things didn't work out for the
story. Hot pic. Fanning myself here!!
Enjoy your working vaccation.

sorry to hear you came up empty, pamela, but there are sure to be other dirty people out there to expose. I imagine it's pretty frustrating investing all that time into it, though.

I havent' mentioned it yet but your exerpts are teasing the hell outta me here... when's the book out?

Thanks, Ronly, Debbie, Tammy, and Sue.

I've since spoken with pretty much everyone involved and thing the tension might at least be resolved to some degree because information was made available. So that's a good thing, too, even if none of it was made public.

Sue, I posted a response to you on my blog, but you might not see it. My next book (the one I'm trying to finish) is slated for a February 2008 release. But that will only happen if I finish the next book on time.

Thanks for the good wishes, Tammy. I need 'em! Debbie, thanks for your thoughtfulness. I look forward to signing them!

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