If you’ve been living under a rock, maybe you haven’t heard anything about Rochester, N.Y. these past few weeks.
Maybe you haven’t heard about Daniel Prude, Mayor Lovely Warren or (now former) Chief La’Ron Singletary.
I’m not debriefing you on that. It’s my day off — I’m not reporting the news here. That’s up to you to educate yourself. I’m here to ask you one thing when you scroll through countless newsfeeds, websites and tweets…
Please check in on your local media friends.
I have seen reporters get harassed behind the scenes and on-air. I’ve seen pepper balls fired in their direction while they try to keep the public informed. I watched commercial grade fireworks explode 20 feet behind them.
I have never respected reporters more than now. They continue to go out there night after night to make sure you, the loyal viewer, can see what the people are protesting about.
While these scenes can get both physically and mentally exhausting, I can see the passion in these reporters to keep going. After being tear gassed one night, they brush themselves off and go back out the next night like it never happened.
It’s truly inspiring. It makes me want to be a better journalist. It makes me want to get out there and speak to the people, amplify their message so they can be heard. Speak to both sides and learn what people are fighting for, or fighting against.
And they are being heard — Over the course of the past seven days, I’ve spoken to people at CNN, FOX and ABC looking to stream a press conference or looking for more information on this city.
The Sheriff of Monroe County said, “the eyes of the nation are on Rochester.” I think it’s true. We’ve been on the front page of NBC and ABC’s websites. Even the President tweeted about Rochester. Interpret that however you want.
Basically, we’ve had constant breaking news for the past week. While it can be exciting, it’s also tiring. Here’s a look at the broadcast I produced on Sunday, when protests remained peaceful all night.
The station I work at isn’t huge. We don’t have big production crews going to a scene. Sometimes it’s just a reporter and their camera. They report live from the scene so you can watch in bed.
We work long hours. We deal with some not-so-nice people. We take calls from critics day and night.
If you know someone working in news right now, give them a shout. Tell them their work is paying off. Tell them you liked their story. Tell them thank you.
I want to say thank you to all my coworkers and reporters at 13WHAM. I see everyone giving their all and I’m so grateful to be part of a team that is so passionate about keeping the people informed. Thank you for all your hard work and long hours throughout these crazy news days.
Finally, support your local media. That’s it. Watch the news and read the paper. Thank you.