Julia Keller of Chicago Tribune – Pulitzer Prize

After carefully reading Keller’s article titled “Left in tatters by a tornado, a small town remembers, rebuilds and begins to recover,” she wrote about how a devastating tornado hit Utica, Illinois. In the article, she starts off by describing the scene that was present. I really like this because it sets the mood and draws the reader into the story. It describes a scene, a mood and even a feeling. She said:

“They picked at the pile, inch by inch, stone by stone, just in case. They thought they’d gotten to everyone who was alive, but you had to be sure. You had to. Buckets of debris were passed from hand to hand along chains firefighters. It began to rain, but nobody noticed.”

After the lead, she then reports about what happened in the city where she was at and also gave us a little more information about the facts of the tornado. One thing I liked about this feature story was the fact that she gave us a time diary about when the deceased were lifted out. She wrote:

At 6:59 a.m., they lifted out Jay Vezain.

At 7:04 a.m., Carol Schultheis.

At 11:12 a.m., Mike Miller Jr.

At 11:15 a.m., Larry Ventrice.

At 11:17 a.m., Beverly Wood.

At 11:22 a.m., Marian Ventrice.

At 11:25 a.m., Wayne Ball.

At 11:28 a.m., Helen Studebaker Mahnke.

To me, this makes the story more heartbreaking and detailed. It’s different to see this in an article and I actually really like it — it’s out of the box.

This story is incredibly long and I love how detail-oriented it is. The amount of scenery described, the feelings talked about and even the actions that were written about — everything was very somber and every well written.


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