What makes a story?

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By Susan Sharp

Journalists are always looking to land the exclusive interview.

We all want to sit down with the “It” person of the moment and garner  details that no one else has uncovered.

It seems that no matter how outrageous, wicked or just plain stupid someone acts there is a journalist waiting to interview them.

So, being a journalist, when Phillip Pack began talking to me last week at his murder trial I stopped to listen, until I heard what he was saying.

During the afternoon recess I was a few steps behind him when he turned around to me. He wanted to know if I had gotten a picture of him smiling. I just looked at him not wanting to believe he had just asked me that.

But that was not all Pack had to say that afternoon.

While he bounced down a flight of steps, still smiling, Pack made an announcement to me.

He said he was going to “beat this thing” because prosecutors “didn’t have anything” on him. His statement was not one of a strong belief but of arrogance.

I wonder if given the chance Pack would take those words back?

His demeanor throughout the trial was annoying.

Between arriving late, falling asleep and insulting the victim’s family Pack did nothing to win anyone over. In fact, he didn’t even exercise good manners during the two- day trial.

When you put these types of actions under a microscope, is that someone worthy of an interview? What could be garnered by sitting down with someone who wears their disrespect of the law and other human beings like a badge?

Is there really a story there?  No, there is not.

One of the lessons I have learned since becoming a journalist is that stories are everywhere. Sometimes you don’t need to look any further for your story than across the room at a dozen people who only have one word to say - guilty.