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Media: Cool Story #1 – The Mysterious Fainting Children of Invercargill

An occasional series commending excellent New Zealand reporting.

It took three bylines to bring us the story about fainting children in the Southland Times on Tuesday

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…and the only wonder is that it didn’t take the whole newsroom. It has the feel of a swarm of reporters chasing down breaking news. It’s thoroughly reported, and also features an excellent 1:05 video by John Hawkins – what’s going on at 0:34 secs, with that poor little boy escorted out of the Civic Theatre? He looks as though he’s in agony. He’s certainly walking really strangely. Why?

Add it to the pile of unsolved questions. The story may be destined to become an enduring mystery, something random and unexplained. What caused the kids to faint? We may never know. There was no fire or gas; the man from the fire brigade said, “We didn’t find anything”; some old bag at St Theresa’s school hung up on a journalist.

Good work, Blake Foden, Georgia Weaver, and Ben Mack. And to the designers. The page looks dynamic and intense – the first photo in that series of three by Hawkins has an echo of the very bad thing that once happened in Jonestown.

Click here to read the story.

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