Outlet: Oakland Press
Journalist: Dan Fenner
Oakland Press sports reporter Dan Fenner had just captured a dramatic, fourth-quarter comeback by Farmington Hills Harrison High School on video. With the high school basketball game apparently over, he turned his camera off — just in time to miss a Walled Lake Northern High School student sink a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win the game.
For many reporters, that’d be a missed opportunity not worth perseverating over, but Fenner decided to treat his misfortune as a chance to connect with his readers. He sent out a call on the Michigan Prep Zone Twitter account to see if anyone at the basketball game had caught and recorded the improbable shot.
If anyone does have video of the half-court winner by Walled Lake Northern, we’d love to share it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org TY
— MIPrepZone (@MIPrepZone) March 5, 2013
The message was retweeted six times, in addition to going out to the account’s 4,000 followers. It wasn’t long before Brandon Nafso, a player from one of the previous games that day, came forward with video of the game-winning moment to go with the article.
@danfenner I have the video
— BrandonNafso (@BrandonNafso1) March 5, 2013
Kudos to Dan for thinking to ask the community for help — it’s a great example of how engaging with readers can enhance reporting to tell stronger stories.