Tracking the News #5


The story I am analyzing is titled “There’s nothing here Russian beer can’t fix” by Cathal Kelly. The story was published in the Toronto Star on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Critical thinking/Gut reaction:

This story was a very interesting one. It is about the journey of sports journalist Cathal Kelly as he makes his way to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As the story begins, he talks about the sights of Russia and how the Olympics don’t seem to be too promising. The sights of Sochi aren’t exactly the most appealing. With many volunteers waiting for people like Kelly to get off their planes, although very helpful, many don’t know what they are doing. The struggle that Kelly faced to find his hotel was a struggle itself. After many bus rides, he finally managed to find his quarters. Once there, the people seemed to be very upset with the situation they were in. Clearly, the obstacles that are being faced by some in Russia aren’t exactly easy to overcome. The positive at the end of this journey was how Kelly managed to find comfort along with other journalists at the hotel bar. The Russian beer he was drinking was what made him realize that his time in Russia will be made enjoyable. The issues this story raises for the audience is obviously the setting of the Olympics. As the Olympics are now underway, people across the world are questioning Russia’s ability to be a host for such a huge event. Between the anti-gay laws in the country and the setting in some areas, it seems the only positives that will come out these Games will be the results of the sports. This is truly unfortunate as athletes competing in the Games spend four years waiting for an experience that comes with participating in the Olympics. Time will only tell how Russia handles its responsibilities as a host to the world, but through Kelly’s story, it doesn’t look promising.

A story pitch for this story would be to follow up on some of the participants in the Olympics to see if their experience at the Games has gotten better as the event has gone on. Maybe their initial reaction towards Russia was negative, but as time goes, that opinion may change.

  1. The question I would use for this story would be: Has the Olympic experience in Russia gotten better or worse since you’ve arrived?


2.  The significance of this story would be that it is a first person view of how others are experiencing the Games. While most feel that Russia is the worst place to host the Games, the athletes along with journalists, may be able to confirm that it isn’t a good experience or that maybe Russia isn’t so bad. The audience would care because the people interviewed for the story are the ones who are experiencing Russia first hand.

3.  This story is worth covering because it is the beginning of the Olympics. For the past while, speculation has led to the opinion that Russia isn’t right for the Games. Now that the Games have begun, people’s opinions may change. The reader may be surprised by some of the responses from the athletes or there may be another event like Kelly’s that will take place that I can use for my story.

4.    My key topics would include the setting of Russia, athlete/journalist opinions on Russia being the host, the experience of those in Russia, and finally I would include why or why not Russia isn’t/is the place to host the Games.

5.     What sources/resources do you plan to use to prepare this story? List a few sources you plan to draw on (e.g. Interviewing John Doe, analyzing reports, analyzing recent coverage from media outlets) and media tools you plan to use.

Sources that I would use for this story would include interviewing athletes and other journalists, gathering the public’s opinion on the Games, and including some coverage from other journalists. A media tool I could use would be a blog or through social media.

6. The platform that would be best suited for this story would be through television. I would choose this platform because I could get use the visuals that Sochi would provide. If the experience of the people I interview is bad, then I could shoot some of the visuals that have led to this being their opinion. I would use social media by telling about the experiences of journalists covering the Games along with athlete experiences.


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