At WAGA last week, health reporter Beth Galvin produced an uncommonly moving piece about a project called “Flashes of Hope,” which photographs gravely ill children at children’s hospitals. The story showed ex-AJC photographer Jean Shifrin and other volunteers setting up a studio at Egleston and “letting kids be kids,” as Galvin put it. It was a feature piece about cute kids, but it had a life-or-death edge.
We watched the piece after a reporter at a competing TV station told us about it. Galvin told the story while walking a fine line. She knew the kids and their parents would watch. She couldn’t say that these kids’ photos may very well be their last if their lives are cut short by illness. One parent told her the photo was important because it commemorated the fact that her daughter “made it this far.” That was about as close as Galvin came to laying out what was really at stake– studio photos of children who may not have long to live.
Subtlety is an all-but lost art in local TV news. Galvin used it like a fine tool. “None of us have any guarantees. We have now, and now is enough,” she concluded. Nicely done. Grade: A-