One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live
It’s hard for me to reconcile to the fact that I make my living off of other people’s misery.
Sure, there’s the occasional “feel good” story. But those are soft news pieces, relegated to page E2 because no one really cares. They’re rarely considered real news.
I just found myself laughing outside, complaining that the incoming storm didn’t look like it was bringing a tornado or any kind of wreckage. I often find myself secretly hoping for the bad things, things for which only a journalist or a tow-truck driver would ever wish.
Disaster, you see, makes a journalist’s life easy. There are certain people to whom you can go: victims, those trying to help the situation, those hurting it. The pictures speak to people, meaning more people read those articles.
I was recently told that I am, essentially, an emotional trap artist. I make people feel safe enough to tell me things, things I use to hurt them later.
I guess I use this in my work, too.
My job is to betray. I smile (with eyes as well as mouth). I make people feel comfortable. I want them to tell me their deepest secrets so I can put them on display, so I make them feel safe enough to let me record these things.
Undoubtedly, some people want to share. They want to talk to the media to get something off their chests.
These are rarely the stories that I like telling. I want to get under people’s skins. I want to make them laugh, cry and shiver. I want to know the down and dirty behind each person and share that with the world. And that’s how I want to make my living.
Some days, I just feel like a terrible person.