Newsrooms need more puppies.
Little did I know how unfortunately appropriate this title would become over the 48 hours that followed.
It began when I noticed that Baton Rouge was trending nationwide on Twitter. Wanting to know what was going on, I clicked on the trending topic and soon saw the video of the shooting. Unfortunately, this would become known as the first shooting of the week.
The next day I saw people tweeting about another shooting. I assumed they were simply discussing the shooting from the previous day. Nope. Another shooting had happened in St. Paul.
And then there were the events of Thursday night. I didn’t leave work until after 9 p.m., so when I returned to my apartment I was ready to check Twitter and go to bed. Once again I noticed a city trending nationwide. A peaceful protest in Dallas had turned tragically violent.
As journalists, we must do our best to not let our emotions play too big of a part in the way we cover stories. It is important that journalists are still humans, but emotions cannot impact judgement. This encourages us to pack away our feelings while covering things. Pack them in so deep that you don’t realize they’re there.
Then you have that one moment to sit by yourself without staring at your computer screen and just think about what has happened. This is often when the emotions hit. The business side of yourself that is driven to strictly cover the story quiets and your real personhood comes out.
I experienced this on a very small scale this week. While I absolutely loved the energy in the newsroom Friday morning as reporters scattered to cover the big story, later I found myself needing time to decompress and really think about everything that had happened.
Also influencing my feelings was the “Grieve-In” held in Columbia on Friday. Preparing to cover and actually covering this event was both exciting and challenging. It was fun to cover a story that is so important both in Columbia and around the nation right now.
Friday night I walked out of the newsroom about 11 p.m. with many, many different thoughts in my head. It was an emotional week, but I think it helped me grow as a journalist and a person.