Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Newspaper's Duty: Documentary Film Follows Joplin Globe Staff after Deadly Tornado

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Newspaper's Duty: Documentary Film Follows Joplin Globe Staff after Deadly Tornado

Article excerpt

A Year has passed since an EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin, Mo., May 22, 2011. Buildings were destroyed, and lives were forever changed, but one thing remained the same: The Joplin Globe still had a newspaper to put out. The Globe is published daily with a 30,000 circulation.

The paper's story is told in the nearly hour-long documentary film "Deadline in Disaster," produced by the Missouri Press Association and directed by Emmy-award-winning team Beth Pike and Stephen Hudnell with assistance from retired Associated Press correspondent Scott Charton.

Charton reached out to Missouri Press Association executive director Doug Crews with the idea of filming a documentary about the Joplin journalists. The team had previously worked together on another film.

"Within 48 hours of the storm hitting, we were hearing about how the Joplin Globe was doing a wonderful job of getting the news out to people," Crews said. "There were no cellphones, no Internet, so people in the community became very dependent on the newspaper."

Globe editor Carol Stark was willing to open her newsroom to the film crew, but she said having a camera around was not going to stop her staff from doing their job. They took to the streets, interviewing people and taking photos, even though they already had a lot on their plates. Many of them no longer had a home or car, and they all were coping with the death of page designer Bruce Baillie.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The intention of the film was to have a public look inside of a newspaper, side by side with photographers and reporters," Crews said. "It was a way to humanize what (journalists) do on a daily basis."

Pike said the film crew followed the Globe staff until October 2011, documenting the work and personal lives of newspaper carriers, photographers, and reporters. …

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