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Dear Readers: Every story has a surface. On this surface lay the main ideas, the common knowledge. But every story has something more built in … something below the surface that explains why the rest exists. Our instructors have been trying to instill the importance of this for as long as we’ve been journalism students. We are taught to favor the “why” over the “how” and the “what,” to get to the humanity of our stories … to see what is beneath and behind. That’s what we’ve tried to do in this issue. The subjects of these stories are nothing new, nothing we haven’t all heard about before. But all too often, reporting the news can get in the way of reporting human truth … the stories behind the events. It is important to remember that fact, that stories are not just a regurgitating of chronology. We have an obligation as people to try to understand one another better. When a person tells his or her story, it transforms into something else. It can be a window, a door, a mirror … looked into or gone through to take us somewhere new. Consider an addict finally letting out the details of her indiscretions, roller skaters reliving the glory of their youth at the disco, mothers of autistic children sharing their simultaneous love and frustration, or even twins revealing how they really see each other. Everyone’s story is compelling in its own way, and we all want to tell ours. We all need to get it out … we all need to be listened to. We will come away from this issue remembering to dig deeper, to listen more carefully, to look into and beyond the events that move our lives … to get “Behind Closed Doors.”


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