A viewer friend of Al Conklin’s had just watched the 11pm newscast from inside our studio. He looked at me with great kindness and empathy, and asked “How do you do what you do? “ I knew exactly what he meant. It’s a question I’ve been asked many times.
It doesn’t mean: “how do you juggle a challenging career with raising a family?” OR “how do you keep your husband from losing his mind when you don’t have time to do the dishes before you go to work?” OR “how do you deal with living so far away from your teenaged daughter?” No. Not any of the questions that keep me up at night.
This look, this question is: “How do you go to work every day knowing you’re going to have to talk about somebody who got killed, or somebody who lost a child, or somebody who did something horrible and got caught?”
I answered like I always do – something about how my work is like that of a police officer, or a firefighter… we see terrible things and have to deal with them – we hope our role in someone else’s tragedy makes a positive impact – that we might help somehow or enlighten or educate.
But reflecting more on the question, I believe it’s all that – and much more.
I am committed to – and love – and have peace about what I do as a journalist because I believe I’m supposed to be doing it. That I was created specifically for this time and this place – that my presence here is part of an intricate plan in which sometimes I will lead, sometimes I will comfort, sometimes I will serve, and sometimes I will just observe.
It is often uncomfortable. It is always challenging. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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