No Fluff Here

From what I have written the last six months, it’s not always easy. Sometimes stories can  make you uncomfortable. I have come to understand that it’s all part of the job. It’s nice when things are going well, but when the figurative “shit” hits the fan, it can get really messy.

Accident briefs now are routine for me, but after I write them I realize that in those words I’ve typed are people who were hurt and sometimes killed. Accidents happen almost daily. Fires are a rare occurrence, but sometimes we can get a couple structure fires in one week. It all depends. But once that paper goes to press and we get our fresh copies and I read those briefs and 10-inch stories, it becomes real.

My first death was in January. An off-duty Hartford police officer was killed in an accident (Off-duty officer killed in crash) and I had to make the calls. I walked in early and the head editor Charlie told me he needed me to “chase” it down. I nodded and told him I had heard about it before I left. I knew who to call. I did my job and I don’t think I said anything to anyone that morning.

It was a gut-check for me. I think I was more nervous about messing up the story than I was calling the National Guard, the officer was sergeant, or the City of Hartford’s spokeswoman. It wasn’t the easiest thing I had ever done, but I got through it. I was in the zone while I was writing that story on deadline.

There have been other stories, like the Police probe death, stabbing in Chaplin I covered in February. The job isn’t always a piece of cake. It can really take a toll on you. While you are in the thick of it you don’t really think twice about it, but, only after a few months, it has really hit me. I covered that story for two whole days. I don’t even remember how many hours I worked or how much time I spent at the crime scene.

I am proud of the way I covered both of those stories and others that have come up since. I think I’ve become a bit numb to it, but that’s part of the job, I think. I cannot “pause” anymore. I try not to.

Looking back I was probably  writing both of those stories without realizing the impact those stories had. It’s weird to think that. Is that normal for someone to not fully understand that? If they happened tomorrow I would probably change a lot of things, but I know how I would react. There would be no hesitation and no second thoughts. I’d have my notebook and pen(s) and be on scene or making the calls.

I can definitely say that I have changed quite a bit since I started in January. I can say that it still “affects” me, but not in the same way. No matter what, at the end of the day I have a job to do and the news doesn’t stop.



One Response to No Fluff Here

  1. Pingback: Desensitized « Just Starting Out

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