This morning, I was going through some of the media organizations’ websites to look at the news. I, for some reason, felt very compelled to look up what is happening around me. I’m not sure if this is because I am back home and not around the Missourian to know what’s happening or if I’ve created a good habit. But I went to USA Today and saw an interesting headline:
Hidden camera shows how WWII veteran died after calling for help, gasping for air
That stuck out to me. Not only was the story already something people would want to see, but the verb “calling” and “grasping” really put an image in my head. I clicked on the link, and the article was supplemented with a video.
The piece was an investigative story that took quite a long time to actually retrieve the video they wanted. Andy Pierrotti’s story was published November 18, 2017, but the actual incident in which James Dempsey called out for help happened February 27, 2014. The reporter said the nursing home operators tried to go to the state’s highest court so they didn’t have to release the video. Clearly, the investigators on this story did not give up and finally retrieved the footage.
Some things that I like about this piece was that the story was set up very well. The journalist introduced the incident, showed the footage of Dempsey calling out and then showed the nurses laughing. This made it clear to the readers that this man is dying and the nurses are having fun rather than saving a life.
Another part of the story I enjoyed was when the Dempsey’s lawyer talked to one of the nurses and asked if they continuously tried to help Dempsey. The nurse said yes, but then the lawyer counters her by showing her the film of the nurse not helping. This was a subtle way to show the nurse he already knew the answer, but he wanted to see if she would confess that she didn’t help.
The lawyer continued by asking if the nurse would have written up the nurses in the video for what they did – if she wasn’t one of them. She said she would have. This allowed the reader to understand that the actions of the nurses were completely inappropriate.
Lastly, because I could go on about how much I enjoyed this story, Pierrotti talked to an experienced nurse. He showed her the footage of the nurses failing to help and said, “In 43 years of nursing, I have never seen such disregard for human life in a healthcare setting.”
That was such a powerful quote to get and one that sums up the whole story. It will be interesting to see the responses to this story.