I chose a story about quality problems with the road building operations in Islamabad, which was published in Dawn in January.
It went well at the beginning, CDAs member engineering and Islamabad MNA Asad Umar responded quickly and informatively. However, I got stuck on the part where I needed some information from CADD who is a concerned party.
Determined to get the state minister, I dialled his number at regular intervals for three hours. I later told his assistant that if I didnt get a comment I would have to write that ‘the minister refused to comment despite repeated requests’. That did the trick.
The minister gave his comment, which really took the story to the whole new level, at 5pm. This meant that with final touches, I filed my story 1 hour after the deadline. Still, a good story beats good marks.