Saturday, 7 March 2009

After care service

I had a very interesting conversation with a household name who works for one of the nationals.
I will call it the 'dead-kid' concept. As a journalist we get to wade through life's grittier events. Not a week goes by without at least one (and in some cases more than a dozen) references to suicide, violence, rape, child abuse or just good old fashioned murder.
A crime reporter is forced to swallow this grief pill on a daily basis. So my point is this, how can a reporter get emotionally involved with every story they write. I say you can't, you would go insane. So if a kid dies, no matter how horrible the circumstances, can you really afford to give a shit?
Sure we empathise and symapthise with the family - in order to get collects and a chat mainly. But do we carry every dead kid with us? I don't. It's just another tale to me. Do it, write it up and move on. It has to be this way.
But my new friend became quite agitated as to my seemingly callous attitude. She had covered the Dunblane massacre many years ago. Seventeen dead - 16 of those children - and it had, and still does have, a profound effect on her.
This I can understand and so my 'dead-kid' concept fell a little flat in the face of such a momentuous fucked-up situation.
But she made an excellent point. All of the fire, police, medical services responding to events like this and others receive counselling to come to terms with what they have seen and done.
But what do our touchy-feely newspaper companies offer in terms of grief therapy.
That's right, absolutely nothing.
Just get on with it.
And lo, the 'dead-kid' concept is revived.

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