Friday, January 15, 2010

Thoughts on Haiti

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Everyone who knows me knows how much of a news junkie I am. So, you can only imagine that I've been completely glued to the TV watching the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. After watching it for two days straight, I still stayed up until 12:30 last night watching clips on the internet. I just can't get enough of those heart-wrenching stories and pictures.

It is horrific to watch the poor people of Haiti dig themselves out of such a mess, only to uncover their family members and friends who have died from the collapsing buildings, or who have been injured and unable to be cared for because their hospitals no longer exist.

It's times like these that I really miss being a reporter. I watch the reporters covering the amazing and devastating stories of the aftermath, and I crave to be the one finding and telling those incredible stories. I imagine with how many people who have been affected, it wouldn't take but a second to find some pretty miraculous stories to tell.

Reporters are more or less trained to leave their emotions at home, develop thick skin, and not to get emotionally involved in stories, otherwise their jobs would leave them complete emotional wrecks in a matter of minutes, all the time, especially in this day and age. To some reporters it is easy to act like stone when the only stories they cover are devastation after devastation. The stories that are the most tragic are the ones that lead the newscast and make the headlines... the bigger the tragedy, the bigger the headline and the better the ratings. Sadly, a common motto in newsrooms is "If it bleeds, it leads." And soon those nightmarish scenes become just another story and another headline. As a crime reporter my first few years on the job, I never liked covering those types of stories. Most of the bad things that happened seemed so petty. I always craved to tell happy, human interest stories instead. But sadly, those kinds of stories were rarely approved by my producers. They just don't pull in the ratings like misfortune does.

But I guess at the end of the day people are just people. And sometimes, leaving your emotions at home is pretty hard to do, even when you've encountered so many human tragedies. I've seen that happen numerous times as I've watched the coverage of the earthquake aftermath in Haiti. In fact, I was watching FOX News yesterday, as I do everyday at work, and saw this clip. I couldn't stop thinking about it. As much as I wish I could be down there covering stories and helping the people of Haiti, I can't help but think I would have the same reaction, if not more so, as this reporter, Steve Harrigan. Sometimes human emotion gets the best of us, even when we're doing our job. I teared up as I watched his report, his reaction, his emotions no longer concealed, and massive crowds of Haitians mesmerized by a bulldozer digging through piles of rubble containing their loved ones.

1 comment:

Joy Candrian said...

A sad time for Haiti. Your Dad said it was interesting to see how much money people in our ward donated to the Humanitarian Funds of the church. Is all we can do is to give, pray for their country and hope that the survivors will find some comfort knowing others care.