Friday, January 25, 2008
On being human
I was walking past the reception area on my way to the kitchen this morning and caught the receptionist, who was crying, off guard. She explained she'd been reading the news and blamed the resulting tears on being too sentimental. I found it so comforting. I often tear up when reading or watching the news and have always thought myself too sentimental to be in the news business. So many times in the newsroom when some kind of terrible breaking news would hit, the overwhelming majority of reporters exuded more excitement than any kind of sympathy or sadness. That business is sort of dehumanizing that way, I think. You become callous and immune to all the blood and death. Someone else's misfortune suddenly becomes a great page 1 story.
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More than once, I had to choke back tears during an interview to prevent myself from crying in front of my subject. But there were also times when the sick facts of a story seemed to bring out the worst in me. What I mean is, at times, the facts were so unbelievable it was hard to remember the story was attached to real people, with real lives and families, just like me.ReplyDelete