Weatherford Democrat

October 8, 2013

Film that followed Joplin newspaper staff after tornado wins Emmy


CNHI News Service

JOPLIN, Mo. — A documentary that chronicled the efforts of The Joplin Globe newsroom to cover the deadly May 2011 tornado that claimed 162 lives -- including a member of the paper's staff -- won a regional Emmy award Saturday in St. Louis.

"Deadline in Disaster," which was screened in Joplin last year and has been shown on Public Broadcasting Service stations across Missouri, won in the Documentary-Cultural category during the 37th Mid-America Emmy Gala. It follows several Globe staffers as they worked to cover the aftermath of the deadly storm, which killed newspaper page designer Bruce Baillie and destroyed many employees' homes.

Beth Pike, who directed and edited the film along with Stephen Hudnell, was among the production crew present on Saturday when the awards were announced.

"I was nervous about it because we had worked really hard, and my heart was racing," said Pike. "When I heard them announce the word 'Deadline,' I let out a gasp because I had been holding my breath."

The documentary crew arrived in Joplin in the days after the tornado and spent six months in production, followed by several more months of post production before the film debuted in 2012.

Pike said that the time spent in Joplin is something that she'll carry with her always.

"We saw the word 'hope' so often (in Joplin)," she said. "There was hope in humankind and hope in getting through whatever obstacle was faced.

"Getting to know the people of Joplin and what an incredible newspaper you have, and the sense of community and hope that you have in Joplin, I'll carry that with me for the rest of my life. I think we all carried away a bit of that Joplin spirit. That was the best part of the whole experience."

Details for this story were reported by The Joplin (Mo.) Globe.