They squeeze the last drop out of the toothpaste because they’re on a budget, a tight budget.
They scrape the ice and snow off their cars at 2 am – to drive in treacherous conditions – to tell you to stay home.
They go in the most dangerous parts of town to give you the latest news.
They are called names, they are told that they are prettier in person or look better on-air.
The work long hours, holiday’s and through breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
They defer their student loans because they make less than a college student working in a bookstore.
They do not make a lot of money. They do not have a stylist or a makeup artist and they do NOT read from cue cards.
They pound the pavement, work hard and write their own stories within minutes of the newscast. They are able to talk about something that they just learned about with bright lights in their eyes, strangers on the sidelines and producers talking in their ear.
They are journalists. They are storytellers.
Yesterday’s tragic murder of Alison Parker and Adam Ward of WDBJ7 hit me hard, very hard. I just can’t comprehend why someone would do this.
I am a former journalist and have many friends who are still in the business. I spent hundreds of mornings and nights doing what they did. Were we afraid? Not really. Could any of us ever imagine something like this would happen? Never in a million years.
A lot of journalists have come out to share their stories about what the profession is like. I too felt the need to tell a little bit about their job and why they do what they do.
News reporters and photographers do not get into this business for the money or the fame. Yes, some make it big and many have dreams to hit the national airwaves, but that’s rare.
So why become a journalist? To tell the story. To uncover more to the story. To make a difference.
They are not saving the world, but they do make a difference. They are able to help the police find missing children or criminals on the loose. They can help a family raise awareness about a rare disease their daughter has. All through telling the story.
That’s what Alison and Adam did every day. They were a team, they were a family.
In this strange world of television news, you form a family, a bond. You all go through the same thing. You spend long hours together and have a passion. A passion that fuels you every day.
Alison and Adam had that passion. They will not get to do what they love anymore because of a senseless act. But, their stories and impact that they’ve made will never be forgotten.
God bless them.