Today is the day a reporter and a photographer were shot and killed. By the time you read this it could be months or days later. But the point isn’t the timeliness of the article, it’s not about the facts, it’s not about gun control or rights. It’s about the tragic death of people who deserve to be remembered.
As experience as a Producer, I can understand the pressure and significance of the storyline and facts of “today.” But a fading moment in history that leads to the next can be dangerous when it piles up. It’s becoming a trend, a sad sad trend in tragedies. All the while in news we go from one “important” story to the next almost an eerie rehearsal just with a different stage and different actors. A day full of new troubles, forgets the long term damage and destruction left over from the yesterdays. There still exists those effected by what happened as time continues to pass, as stories get archived and posts continue. Families, friends, and loved ones continue to suffer forever. We need to examine what’s going on here. Somewhere down the line you forget the dents in your own soul and being, and only recognize them as traces of a horrible time. This can not be forgotten, it’s beyond a headline or breaking news. These are precious precious lives.
Instantaneous. It’s the token word to describe our world. This is what news is supposed to provide, the latest information as it becomes available when tragedy strikes, ambiguity is heavily present as well as an anxious air that lays there unwelcoming. Answers help remedy the pain, but at what cost? People needing to feed their craving… what happened, when, where, what, who, and what are the motives?
Critics argue what to show to the public. They scrutinize and debate over how long the exposure will be and of course the “experienced” question WHEN should we show it. This is society, this is media, this is people, this is numb. At our rate anything and everything about each situation deemed “newsworthy” is shown somewhere at some time (even if you have to dig).
I got the phone call from family on the east coast about the shooting. Hauntingly ironic and necessary considering I was in the same field as the taken. So I searched and scoured the internet as the news team effected by what had happened, scrambled to put something on air. No one imagines this scenario happening, no one knows what to do. You are still playing the role of the news, but you are also playing the role of human. Viewers want answers, people want to know, a newsroom left to figure out what is the right thing to do. After all, no one could erase what happened on air. Live television isn’t a place of judgment, this isn’t a place to dismiss; it happened and in the moment explanations are all that’s left to give. It is, it was, now it’s time to reflect. A news team just trying to understand, and process what happened in shock, while decisions are made in utter tragedy as a staff tried to stay afloat. A poor producer, left doing her job after her fiancé is murdered behind the scenes before her very eyes. I am so sorry. My condolences to you. There are no words to express how you felt in that moment. I am dearly sorry.
For ten minutes a news team fumbles through what they can, half disbelief the other half, from what I gathered, what am I doing? (but this is my job). So very close to home. All the while they are remembering they are people too. Everyday they report on tragedies, this one is internal, this one is intimate to them.
The day proceeded with story after story dropping with more details of the event and the background and story behind the characters, the players involved but not by choice. You connected as you learned more and more about “these people”… and you think what if I lost my own? What if this happened at my work? Can this happen anywhere now? What if it was me? I was in a state of paralytic and robotic nature. I could not believe it, and I could not accept it. How was their morning? Did they close doors that needed closing? Did they get to love unconditionally and be loved beyond their dreams? What about their future? Left unanswered, unwritten, unfair. I am not in any place to question the greater forces involved, but as a person I can feel sympathy, and want to comfort.
I write because this is a tragedy of human loss. Unfortunately, it is becoming such a familiar story with different people involved at different places. We engage in our daily routines until we are shaken by the next shocking story, and the next. Each time, hitting a gut wrenching ache leading to a disabling numbing state. Tomorrow you’re fresh and beaten, and only reminiscences remain… memories… facts… feelings, as it trails off with reminders of the past, distant past. It’s unhealthy, it’s painful, it’s distinct and prevalent. Actual events are happening, actual tragedies are occurring and passing around us. We got to stop and process these at sometime. Are there remedies? Do we glorify the unforgivable? Do we not do enough? Is it a murder trend? Should we be nicer to people? Is this a product of society, the collective or individual circumstances? The answers aren’t here now, or are maybe hidden between one mass disaster to the next. But the moment doesn’t call for figuring it out. We need to pause and think. Yes, pause and take time to mourn even if it’s for a stranger, even if it didn’t happen today. The lessons from somber reflection brings forth necessary healing and possibly insight. For those who have lost I’m sorry and I pray for you. As I am sure many others will too. My deepest and most sincere sympathy as you go through this very difficult time.
Only a month and a few days later after I wrote this article, another mass shooting happened only a few hours away from where I live.