They buried the Brazilian shot to death by London Police last week. You won't find any links to articles by me, though, 'cause I was out of town when he got whacked and - after calculating the potential news value of the event - I opted not to return to cover things.
I may well have made a miscalculation there. I thought there wasn't that much news value in the thing, at least for foreign audiences. Yes, the Brazilian press was going nuts - interviews with his mother, father, 3rd grade teacher, neighbours, people who might have met hime once at a backyard BBQ in London - but for the rest of the world I thought the story was really in London - what had the British police been thinking, what lead to gunning down an innocent man, was shoot to kill now the official policy, plus some exploration of the idea that in the war on terror it may be considered better to waste a few innocents rather than risk the safety of the many.
In Brazil, I calculated, there would be nought but weeping rellies and the coffin arriving on an airforce plane.
In a sense I was right: in Brazil there WAS nothing weeping relatives and arriving coffin. But it was a coffin that generated world wide attention, seemingly. So I probably should have dropped all and gone to Minas Gerais (about an 8 hour bus ride from Rio) to join the media hordes in witnessing the coffin.
That probably would have been good enough for a story in the Globe and Mail, plus quick radio hits to CBS and CBC, plus a longer feature for NPR - a total of perhaps $US550 in all. But I didn't. I was off digging up another story that - I hope - in the long run will pay higher dividends. Such are the gambles one makes.
I did do a CBS radio hit - 25 seconds of my voice (which works out to 4 short declaratory sentences) - for the grand sum of $45 US.
There are correspondent aquaintances of mine here who covered the story simply by watching the coffin's arrival on local TV and describing what they saw for the audience at home. Much cheaper and easier than actually going to the scene, but I still feel it's cheating somehow. (Even though they do still dateline Rio de Janeiro)