We will begin reviewing Personality Profiles during the next few days in Newswriting class, so it seemed to be a good time to link a few.
Luis Sinco has a good one in The Los Angeles about the “Marlboro Marine.” The story, which I found linked on Romenesko, takes much more of a first person approach than usual (I generally recommend students not write in the first person at all during the introductory Newswriting course). But the story would have suffered had Sinco written it any other way.
The young marine lighted a cigarette and let it dangle. White smoke wafted around his helmet. His face was smeared with war paint. Blood trickled from his right ear and the bridge of his nose.
Momentarily deafened by cannon blasts, he didn’t know the shooting had stopped. He stared at the sunrise.
His expression caught my eye. To me, it said: terrified, exhausted and glad just to be alive. I recognized that look because that’s how I felt too.
I raised my camera and snapped a few shots.
With the click of a shutter, Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, a country boy from Kentucky, became an emblem of the war in Iraq. The resulting image would change two lives — his and mine.
[Continue reading “Marlboro Marine”]