I’ll happily stay safe and caffeinated in the comfy anchor chair, thank you.
I covered (and I used the term “covered” loosely) a couple of stories this week while we were short-handed in the newsroom. One was a piece of cake, a labour protest, where my presence was definitely wanted. The sit-in at MPP Chris Bentley’s office (and the offices of others across the province) was meant to draw attention to the plight of injured workers and the low compensation they receive. Pull up, point a microphone and say “go”.
The second was the scene of a rare shooting in downtown London. I wasn’t about to go stalking police or any such thing but I thought I might have a chance of catching someone who saw or heard something. Boy oh boy, you would have thought I was carrying an open vial of the Ebola virus and sprinkling it liberally on babies. Everyone from investigators to tenants to employees of the businesses at the bottom of the tower looked at me with disgust and refused to speak to me. I was a parasite, a bottom-feeder, a carp.
Now, for reporters, this is not a big revelation. it’s something they deal with on a regular basis, suck up and move on. But for me, who has never spent any great length of steady time as an out-and-about story chaser, it’s a creepy feeling. I suppose you get over it. Fortunately for me, I won’t have to.
4 thoughts on “A Reporter’s Life (Is Not) For Me”
With your wealth of contacts, maybe you can get some tips on how you might approach a similar situation if it ever occurs again.
I’ve been in the business long enough to know you simply forge ahead. But my point is, I don’t like it! 🙂
One day in Halifax, about 5:30 on a weekday morning, I realized I had a lot in common with the guy jingling the coffee cup of change outside Tim Hortons; he was panhandling for money, I was panhandling for opinions. In both cases, I think it’s a constant exercise in smiling and being polite despite the scowls, dismissive grunts and general rudeness. I think those of us who have done it or do it just accept it as coming with the territory. Kind of like silly callers with ridiculous questions on the request/news tip line! 🙂
Yup, you have to have the personality for it. Me, I just want to crawl into a hole! And yet I can look a politician in the eye and ask a tough question. But those are two different things.
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