Can you have a heart AND be a reporter?
We’re taught in college that you must be unbiased. In other words, what happens in any story doesn’t really matter, it is our job to report the facts, as we know them. We are educators, more or less, yes?
On my hike this morning I was recalling a certain right wing talk host that I worked for for more than a year. Before I started, I looked at their website, read the comments section and, oh boy. Never, ever read the comments section folks! It doesn’t matter which way you lean (even if you’re not supposed to), the comment section will break your heart. I said to my boss, wow, the comments, there’s hate there. “That’s your audience”. I should have bolted right then. Pretty soon thereafter I was on the NRA show (I did the schedules, so that was my own doing, and not on purpose!). Listening to the hate there too, was challenging. I promise I’m not nor did I ever want to take your gun.
So back to the original question, can you have a heart and be a reporter. When I went to college, the internet didn’t exist. So really, the only comment section was Letters to the Editor. They don’t teach you this bit in Journalism 101. Can you feel a piercing in your heart when you read the comment section and stay unbiased? Sure, in your reporting, no problem. But after work when it’s decompress time, a whole ‘nother thing…