The life of a journalist is not an easy one.
In fact, it’s probably one of the most demanding professions.
There’s the late nights, the struggle to meet deadlines, the sources that never call back and those dreaded Oxford commas.
But there’s even more to it.
Journalists expect that one day they will have to cover difficult situations. And we prepare ourselves for this. But it’s almost impossible to prepare for a situation that affects us directly.
It would have been hard enough for JMC Network reporters, photographers and videographers to drive to the scene of a fatal car crash or to wait in a hospital for hours trying to gather information, but knowing the people involved in the crash were our friends and classmates made it almost unbearable.
So why were we there?
As word about the crash got out, people needed to know what happened.
And we needed to tell them.
But we didn’t want to be the stereotypical, apathetic, insensitive journalists. The people around us were our friends, and our hearts were breaking for them. We knew people were still searching for the truth and we wanted to be able to give them answers.
Hundreds of people were relying on someone to get the word out as soon as possible. We knew this and we wanted to get accurate information to them as fast as we could.
Within seconds of receiving word about the crash, my phone began lighting up with text messages from friends who wanted to know what was going on. They expected me to have the answers and I knew I had to get them.
The last thing I wanted to do was drive to Hendrick, because I knew all too well what I would find there: a waiting room full of anxious people and wails of agony when the names were finally announced.
I knew because I had been in the same position not that long ago.
Nothing has been harder than watching people I love so deeply suffering from a pain I know too well. I would give anything just to help them feel better. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that the simplest gestures can go a long way.
A hug can be one of the most powerful things in the world.