Last night I fell asleep at 7 pm and today I woke up at 11 am. Sixteen hours. After this crazy week I was exhausted, mentally and physically.
I’m having a really hard time processing everything that’s happened in the news this week. Dead infants found in a storage locker, the Ottawa shooting and Winnipeg’s civic election. Sleep helped, but everything still feels surreal.
On Wednesday October 22nd, I had a radio assignment. In the morning I went to the polling station near my house and interviewed Daniel McIntyre residents about voting. In the evening I was set to hang out with River Heights – Fort Garry councillor hopeful Taz Stuart at The Pemby.
After chatting with people, I got into my car and called Red River’s radio station to perform my “rant’ about the morning’s scene at Robert A Steen Community Centre. I talked about voter turnout, who people were voting for and what could be expected for the rest of the day. I was giddy when I hung up, live radio reporting was more fun than I had expected.
I started the car and turned on the radio hoping to hear election coverage. Instead, CBC was relaying the events unfolding in Ottawa. It was about 10 am. I sat there in total disbelief while the car idled.
I kept the radio on for the rest of the day while I rushed around doing errands and working on other assignments. The last time I had followed a news story for an entire day was 9/11 and it was hard to understand that this time the act of terrorism was happening in my country.
CBC has been praised by other news outlets, like Mother Jones, for the excellent reporting during the shooting. The reports were calm, honest and factual. It made me proud to be a journalism student.
I was thinking about breaking news while I read Homicide today. When a reporter or a detective gets “the call” (a breaking story or a crime in progress ) they have to react immediately — without speculation and without jumping to conclusions. Chapter five revolves around getting that call and the implications of picking up the phone.
Detective Rick James closes a 2 month-old case thanks to a phone tip, Tom Pellegrini wishes for a call about the Latonya Wallace case, Donald Worden takes a call about an open and closed domestic dispute and Harry Edgerton jumps on every ring hoping to finally land a murder.
Good news, bad news and otherwise, each call requires a different reaction. In detective work, and in journalism, you never know what’s going to be on the other end of the line, the important thing is how you respond to the call.
I’d like to think that I could do a decent job if I was faced with a breaking news story, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.