STORY OF THE WEEK–from Anne Herbst (who will be speaking at the workshop in Minnesota Sept. 14-16th)
This is super fresh—just did this short turn around yesterday. Basically, I did this story to give my brain a bit of a break. Does it totally stink? I hope not, but it’s not my best work. Should I have knocked on a few more doors to try a little bit harder to get neighbor reaction—yup. But I’m not getting down on myself, and here’s why: I’m a solo video journalist in Denver, CO—and I’m guessing everyone knows we’ve had a pretty stressful summer here. I don’t want to get too serious—because that’s just not me—but if you’re having a rough time after covering a terrible breaking news event, let someone know. Do a silly story, or something that interests you. Ask for a break—for at least a day—from covering the many stories that follow a big news event. This also goes for covering cops/crimes/courts. I remember at my old station, KUSA, you could let management know if covering something was frying your brain, and they’d give you a break for a bit from the doom and gloom. You absolutely should be affected by sad news—you shouldn’t be in this business if stuff rolls right off you—but you need to take care of yourself, or you will fry your brain. That’s a big lesson I learned this summer.
So does this story have some fun writing and shots? I think so. But mainly, it served to me back into the swing of things. It also reminded me that news—and Colorado—can be fun and entertaining. Our jobs as journalists are cool—usually—so try and find ways to remind yourself of that when you’re in the middle of the you-know-what. It also helps that the subject of this story offered me a glass of wine and hug before I left. I didn’t take the wine—but I took the hug.