|It was a journalist’s dream. Putting on his reporter’s visor and badge, arming himself with his black steno pad, 4th grader Jacob couldn’t believe his luck. He had the opportunity to do something big. To expose what was really going on with the Myersville Senators. The inside scoop, as they called it. There was a pit the size of a watermelon in his stomach. Ricky, the 5th grade editor of their MicroSociety newspaper had specifically chosen him. He had to get this right.
“Make sure they know how frustrated we citizens are. Government is supposed to serve the people, not turn its back to them,” Ricky asserted.
“Yeah, how can our paper inform us if we don’t have a clue what is really going on in our own society?” chimed Lindsey, the News You Can Use publisher.
“Make sure you get some good quotes so we can really show the kinds of things that our Myersville Senators are talking about,” added Tyree, their second grade columnist. “And don’t forget good pictures. They sell the story,” he added, stepping to the supply cabinet to retrieve the camera.
“You got it,” replied Jacob, in his typical quiet manner. He just hoped his words rang true.
With each step towards the government offices, Jacob recited the questions he would ask. Why hasn’t there been a Town Hall meeting in the past 3 months? Why have you been turning down so many of the business proposals that MicroCitizens are turning in? Why haven’t you answered the call to raise our minimum wage? He wanted answers. His readers deserved them.
He reached the door with shaky hands and a racing heart. And that was when he saw the sign. “Closed Session. Do Not Disturb.” Dare he knock? The sign clearly requested no disruptions. On the other hand, no knock meant no story.
He went for it. A quick one-two tap on the door, and he entered. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” Jacob announced, “But I had scheduled an interview with the 4th and 5th grade Senators this afternoon.” With that, he raised his badge as evidence that he was legit.
“Did you read the sign on the door?” asked a government employee with spiky hair and a spunky spirit. “We don’t have time for that kind of stuff. We’re busy.”
Jacob didn’t even have a moment to say, “But I scheduled these appointments over a week ago,” as the door was shut in his face. With a deflated “Thanks anyway,” he turned back. He blew it. How would he tell everyone that he couldn’t do the story? With each step, he became more agitated. How dare they shut him out! What could they be hiding behind that closed door? And then it came to him. I could write a story about the Senate’s refusal to meet with me!
As he burst through the newsroom door, four pairs of eyes followed him and four voices questioned, “So, how did it go?”
“Not as planned,” Jacob answered. “Even better.”
With the help of his colleagues Jacob penned the story of all stories. “Senate Shocked Reporter.” All it needed was a closing line. “I know,” Tyree exclaimed. “Senate, open your doors and let us in.” Four heads nodded in agreement. It had an edge.
And Jacob hoped the Senate would heed their call, for he knew that he, for one, would be knocking again.