Deeply Shallow

Immersed is the best word I could use to describe my job. But in a superficial way unless I choose to delve. Broadcast is a medium which requires brevity of thought. A lot of print journalists look down on us for this very reason. We don't beat you over the head with details because we don't have time. Stories without sound should take less than 25 seconds to read. And that's pushing it. I can look at a block of words and tell you the approximate time it will take to read and how overly wordy it is for a broadcast story.

But I love details.


I get caught up in them. Wrapped up in them. Swallowed by them. If a story really captivates me, like the ones about young children facing some adversity or getting caught in the whirlwind of their parents' ill-fated lives, or Katrina, or the Virginia Tech shootings, or 9/11, I start reading and I can't stop. Those pages which have link after link after link of information, one-on-one portraits, and in depth stories, and video and pictures are the bane of my existence. And my work in local news has me always searching for the link to me. Do I know anyone effected? Was anyone from the Pittsburgh or Hampton or Charlotte metro areas? I hit one link and another and another. Multi-media on the web fuels my journalistic fire. I have to know.

But that thirst for knowledge can also be my downfall. It leaves me vulnerable. It makes me need an escape. Somewhere I don't have to think about it, or look at it, or feel it, or cover every single angle. Hence the blog. That's why though I know a ridiculous amount of current events and browse the NYTimes, WashPost, USAToday, CharlotteObserver, PittsburghPostGazette, CNN, WallStreetJournal, and FoxNews, sometimes I have to just stop. And leave it alone.

So though the day Katrina hit, and the WorldTradeCenter fell, and United93 crashed in a field in ShanksvillePa, in our viewing area, and another plane slammed into the Pentagon, and a lost boy gunned down his schoolmates, and all these other horrific events won't be missed, sometimes I just can't talk about it.


Ms.Honey said...

Ok so I clicked on the record dish thinking it was your page yea I wasn't paying attention and I thought you had created a new background...nothing to comment just that

I know I'm horrible

My-Conscience said...

If you can't talk about it, can you imagine being in the midst of 911 like I was. It was a feeling I will never forget.. Feeling like I was going to die....talking to God outloud telling him I am not going to die here etc. I don't even watch the tributes because it still hurts, so I understand.

CNEL said...

Watching some of my clips recently made me contemplate the stories I've covered in my short and still budding career. Sometimes people don't realize that journalists are people too, because they see us as these horrible people who only appear at the absolute worst of times. Its weird when I go through the emotions because I too have to process what I've seen. It makes me humbled to be with people at their worst moments, and when they are at their best.

Jameil said...

honey... it is mine, but different from this one. its ok! lol

nitty... i do imagine it. i imagine what people went thru every time i see those images and click on those links.

cnel... you should read the nytimes' special section. it was really good and about how the reporters forged relationships w/a lot of the vic's families.

Mau said...

Well said.