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Getting it Right

May 12th, 2006

Here in the blogosphere, we bloggers like to take the occasional poke at the guys who get paid to do this job. It’s natural enough really, we sit and do for free what these guys get paid for, we want to knock them down a peg. Makes us feel a bit better about not getting paid for what we write.

But sometimes you just can’t ignore how good some of these guys are. Joe Warmington is one of the best, not in terms of reporter (although he’s good at that), not in terms of political leanings, but in terms of good writers. His story today on the funeral of Slain cop John Atkinson is offered proof. Joe can get to the heart of the matter in mere sentences, and he can use a single incident to convey the emotion in a situation:

It was a little girl wanting to have one more look at her dad.

As the pallbearers carried out the Canadian flag-draped casket carrying murdered cop John Atkinson, his children Mitchell, 9, and Nicole, 7, stood with their mom, Shelley — never taking their eyes off it as it was eased into the hearse.

They had tears in their eyes but comforted their mother as they moved toward a limousine. Clutching her teddy bear, young Nicole stepped around some of the honour guard to take one final look.

Eighty-Eight words. That’s all it takes for Warmington reach through the newsprint and get his point across in a heartfelt, and heart-tugging manner. And he does it regularly; talk about one of the best.

The only other writer around, that I know of, who can do this is Christie Blatchford at the Globe and Mail. Warmington and Blatchford, two of the very best in Canada, and I could be argued into removing the words two of.

P.S. – Further kudos to the Sun for some great pictures of yesterdays sad events in Windsor. Page two and three have Warmington, plus three pictures that say it all. There’s a lot of emotion on those two pages.


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