With all of the traumatic events going on in the world today, journalists are some of the first people to get to the scene and cover breaking news. Stress is a part of their job. Both journalists and media professionals encounter extremely emotional situations.
Chris Venzon is a student journalist at Syracuse University. He covered the Theta Tau Fraternity controversy at Syracuse.
- Video leaked online from one of the chapter’s private FB messages, and it showed one of their hazing rituals, mocking a person with disabilities
- Contained racist, sexist, and homophobic language
- University ended up permanently expelling the chapter
- Faced the pressure of being able to do it the right way and also faced the pushback from the actual fraternities who were trying to quash it and make it disappear
- He still felt compelled to cover what was a major outrage on campus
- Stressful for him to try to film, talk to people, and the pressure that comes with deadlines of trying to break the news as they competed with some of the other student publications
- Wanted to ensure they got everything right
- Says it added a couple of gray hairs
April Bethea is the Homepage Editor of The Washington Post. She finds it hard to write about kids who have died.
- Had a case in Charlotte where a five-year-old boy lost his life riding a dirt bike
- Went to the boy’s family’s house and talked to them
- Remembers his dad holding the boy’s teddy bear
- Trying to talk to people when they have experienced loss is one of the hardest things for her to cover
Lauren Granada is a student at Emerson College. As a student journalist she recalled an assignment in Dorchester, a neighborhood in Boston, where there was some gang violence.
- Witnessed the realities of crimes and the impact on children who are being recruited to commit violent crimes
- Says it was not only difficult for her as a journalist at times – but also took a toll on her as a human being
Teghan Simonton is a student at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. She is frequently involved in election coverage.
- It can get a bit frustrating with local elections
- Difficult to get sources to talk to you most of the time
Kayla LaRosa is a student at Emerson College and also part of the RTDNA student newsroom at EIJ18. She produced a documentary on the Boston Marathon Bombing for her college news organization, Emerson Independent Video.
- Coordinated interviews for a heavy subject fraught with high emotion
- Conducted several interviews with survivors and victims of the bombing
- Ability to edit and produce this subject with care was emotionally challenging
- Wanted to be able to tell that story well with the utmost care