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A Hard Story


I am pretty good at balancing my work and personal life but there are times that it is very difficult and today was one of those days.

For those of you who don’t know what I do for a living… I am a TV News Photographer/Multi-Media Journalist/Superman, so I get the joy of seeing things that I really don’t want to or work on stories that could affect someone on a deep level.    I was speaking with my reporter on our way down to this particular story and working in the media we grow to have a hard heart.  We feel for the people that we are doing a story on when it involves the loss of a family member or friend but we have to do our best to not let it affect our day-to-day life.   It may seem like when we roll up on a scene of a shooting, deadly fire, deadly accident, and the such that we don’t care and we are only worried about getting our story on air but we do care for how a family is feeling during their time of hardship.

Anyway, I digress.   This story while hard on any other day is even more difficult during a holiday weekend.   This story involved a seven year old who drowned at a lake.   I don’t know many details (that’s another common misconception of the media, most of us don’t know the complete story unless we covered it from the day before and many of us weren’t even working at that time) but as we rolled up on the scene we saw a family throwing flowers into the lake, and for the first time in my career, my mind goes “BINGO!!”  We just walked up to a story.  Now this wasn’t the family, thankfully, because the family of the child did not want to go on camera, understandable, and when that request is made I do everything in my power to make sure they know there is not a camera pointed in their direction.   The people that were dropping flowers into the lake were not family but other campers who were showing their respects to a fellow camper.   They tried to help in the rescue too.

One particular sound bite caught my attention, “If it was her I would be devastated,” a mother said holding her daughter.  It was something that resonated in my rookie dad mind and has seem to just stick in the there.

What would I do if I was in a situation like that?  What would happen if I lost my son?

They aren’t thoughts that I want to think about, but something that covering the news in the way that we do I can’t help but think about every now and then.

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on July 3, 2011, in Fatherhood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Before I was a stay at home dad I was a videographer in NYC and I too saw some stuff I didn’t care to see. Whenever the loss of a child’s life was involved it always hit me hard. There is always the sense that it could never happen to me but truthfully it could happen to anyone. I was one week into my career at a small sation in upstate NY when a similar drowning happened. I saw the boy being pulled from the water and it still resonates with me today. Always got hug your kids a little tighter when you hear of stories like this.

    • Yeah I started noticing that as soon as I became a dad that the stories started meaning more and more but this one hit home a bit more then the others that I have covered.

  2. those are tough stories. My husband is a fireman and he calls me about kid calls, usually at 7 in the morning because he has been staring at the ceiling all night because he can’t sleep. kiss the chipmunk a little more and be thankful that’s all I can do when I hear stuff like that. (and I usually cry)

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