I trained over 100 journalists and photojournalists when I worked in TV News. Often these were either college grads in their first TV job or someone who started in a lower market and moved up. Either way, they often had little guidance.
“Be a human being first” was one of the first things I taught them. It was something my mother instilled in me, treating everyone equally. The last thing I wanted anyone to do was to go to a house fire, where a family has just lost someone, stick a mic in their face and ask “how do you feel?”
HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK THEY FEEL?!
Working in television news is among the top ten most stressful jobs. I suppose it’s akin to the other 9 occupations on the list in that, you can’t allow yourself to internalize it.
I would use the videocamera as a shield to not let things get past the lens to me. Oh, it still did from time to time, despite my best efforts, particularly after becoming a father. There were many nights I’d go home and hug my family a little harder.
That reaction wasn’t caused by just death and destruction. It could have been poverty, abuse, or any number of things.
But these things made me appreciate that we are all just human, no matter our station in life.
If you approach everyone with this attitude, it won’t only make the people around you feel better but it will help your soul. I know. Mine was darkened by the things I saw, read and smelled.
It will help brighten your little corner of the world.