Monday, August 6, 2012


By Kimberly Cionca (Bronx, NY)

I like to think I'm accustomed to asking questions, getting a story, and conducting an interview, but when I had to unravel the juicy story for my feature piece, I underestimated what was to come my way. It was like the classic "he said, she said" scenario, where you get a certain storyline from one subject, but it just doesn’t seem to correspond with the information you’ve gathered from your other subjects.

We were covering a story about a local hospital that had been relocated from a low-income community to a wealthy area. Fellow students Makenna, Darquis, Lorena and I interviewed Committeeman Lance Liverman; disappointingly, our briefing did not take longer than 4 minutes.

Committeeman Liverman was generally optimistic and grateful for the relocation. He explained that the hospital had wanted to expand, but it couldn’t because the surrounding homes were at risk, and Princeton Township had a restriction on how tall a building could be built. Their business wasn’t going too well either. Therefore the University Medical Center of Princeton was moved to Plainsboro in May and is now known as the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. Amusing, right?

But today I was able to do something that wasn’t in my journalistic nature: to get more perspectives on the same exact story. This time some details just didn’t match up. For example, Committeeman Liverman had blissfully announced that the councilmen of Witherspoon had negotiated an admirable deal with the hospital board: residents of Witherspoon county would receive free transport to and from the new clinic.

However, when we interviewed Reverend Muriel Burrows at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, she disclosed that she hadn’t even known about this free transportation. In addition, when Lorena spoke to some local residents, she found that many of them hadn’t known about it either.

Even if these discrepancies turn out to be minor, I still have the opportunity to investigate.

So whose story is right? 

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