Thursday, November 3, 2011

'It was not something that I was very eager to see'

The Emmy Award-winning documentary Ashes to Glory debuted to rave reviews in 2000. The film about the 1970 Marshall University plane crash inspired viewers. But for many people like MU alumna Angela Dodson, it would be years after the documentary’s release before they could muster up enough nerve to watch a film that  brought back so many painful memories. Dodson, a free-lance writer, editor and consultant, was a sophomore journalism major at the time of the tragedy.
Q: How long did you have Ashes to Glory in your possession before you finally decided to take a look at it?
Angela Dodson
A: I’m not certain. But it would be safe to say at least two or three years. I bought it at the Marshall Bookstore, I believe. I can’t pinpoint the year because I had been visiting (MU) campus at least annually because I was on the Yeager Scholars’ board. I’m sure it was after the We Are Marshall film came out.
Q: You mentioned that even though you had the documentary DVD for a few years, the seal had not been broken. Sounds like you had no intentions of looking at it for a very long time, if ever. Please elaborate.
A: I guess I didn’t have any real intentions of viewing it. I can’t say I ever articulated that, or had a specific reason to avoid it. Obviously, it was not something that I was very eager to see. I’d been told that I was in it somewhere, but I was still not compelled to see it.
Q: Tell me about the film segment you appear in.
A: It’s nearly three-quarters of the way through the documentary and they’re discussing the aftermath of the crash. It’s a press conference, apparently to introduce the new coach. You see me facing the camera, sitting at a table with other reporters, diligently taking notes and looking down at my notebook.
You will recognize me as the girl with the perfect 10-inch-high Afro. I don’t really recall this press conference, but I assume that I was sent on assignment for The Parthenon, the campus newspaper, as part of an advanced reporting class. I wasn’t working for the local paper yet. I guess I could probably figure out the date and research whether I did a story on it. I might have just contributed to a larger story.
Because of my experience and my role as a student reporter in covering the 1970 Marshall crash, I’ve had a life-long fascination and interest in disaster news coverage, which has served me especially well as an editor. I could work calmly through nights of editing news and coordinating the coverage of train wrecks, mine disasters, massive fires, explosions and earthquakes, not to mention plane crashes, and I would continuously push to get every detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment