Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two great stories. One's a little better. Why?

I had this Twitter conversation yesterday and thought I'd share because in just three tweets, Andrea Pitzer of Harvard University's Nieman Foundation really got me thinking about the differences between these two fantastic stories by Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post.

One is "The Peekaboo Paradox," about a children's entertainer with a secret. Pitzer called it the best story he's written. And, she wrote, Weingarten agreed it was his best. That immediately made me think of "Fatal Distraction," Weingarten's haunting story about parents who forget their children in the backseat of locked cars on hot days. I wondered why Pitzer and Weingarten thought Zucchini was better than 'Distraction,' and she broke it down. Here's the conversation (and the point of this post is mostly in our mutual agreement at the end -- if you have not read each of these stories, you must).