Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Getting To The Heart Of The Story

A quick inside-the-biz story. Yesterday, several broadcast and print outlets in St. Louis (and their websites) reported that Rams interim head coach Joe Vitt had undergone an angioplasty procedure. This would be news in light of the health problems that have sidelined Mike Martz for the rest of this season.

But something about the story didn't sound right to Fred Bodimer, who produces my KMOX show and is also our health editor. He knew that before you have an angioplasty, you first have an angiogram, the test to see if you have arterial blockage, and we hadn't heard anything about Vitt having that test.

I suggested that Fred tell Tom Ackerman, our intrepid sports guy, to ask Vitt about it personally at Rams Park that afternoon. Tom did, and it turned out Fred was exactly right. Not only had Vitt had an angiogram (not plasty), but he'd been given a clean bill of health by team doctors. Armed with that information, Tom called Fred, who passed the info to me, which I reported on the air.

It's a little thing we like to call journalism -- actually asking questions based on prior knowledge to find out the truth.