Biggest story of the year is risky business for reporters

Journalists stampede Summit Sierra

Photo By F. Stop Fitzsimian

A gathering of reporters turned into a riotous stampede Wednesday at the Summit Sierra shopping mall. The reporters, most of whom were from the Reno Gazette-Journal, were vying to document the first latte concocted at the “lifestyle center’s” new Starbucks.

“It is truly a tragic affair,” stated RG-J editor Tanya Adpanderrer in a press release. “They must have taken too seriously my offer of a year’s supply of coffee to the reporter who could get someone to say, ‘Coffee just tastes better at the Starbucks at Summit Sierra!’ Poor devils.”

While no one was killed, the rush did injure 37 of the 48 reporters on site and three of the seven customers there.

As emergency medical crews were rolling her into an ambulance, reporter Patty Piarre, still clutching her notebook and recorder, smiled despite her broken nose. “Ith was all worth ith,” she said through crushed teeth. “Tho think of all the joy noth only Stharbucks coffee, buth the whole thopping thenter will bring tho the communithy of Reno justh makes me all warm inthide. And I’m parth of thelling that sthory and thpreading the good news tho others.”

Standing supportively by her side was co-worker and reporter Patrick Puffpease. He agreed that, stampede or no stampede, it’s a reporter’s job to bring dark secrets like shopping centers to light. “This Starbucks opening was the biggest story we’ve had since, well, since Reba McEntire’s fashion show at Dillards,” said Puffpease. “Things have been kinda slow here in Reno. Sure there’s been the occasional school-shooting story, development plans in areas without enough water to accommodate them, and then that whole flood dealie-ma-bob. But there hasn’t been much you can really sink your teeth into. Not like shopping!”

Back at RG-J headquarters, Adpanderrer said she’s proud of her reporters. “They decided to tell the story that needed to be told, no matter what threats advertisers threw at them.” She said that shopping, even while walking outside in the wind and snow when everyone thought the new mall would be indoors, is what the people want to read about.

“They have a right to know they can shop somewhere else,” said Adpanderrer. “And if 16 stories within four days of opening week and a Dillard’s ad on every other page isn’t enough, I will assign more and more Summit Sierra stories until all the world knows that yes, the good people of Reno have a new strip mall!”

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