Running into the face of danger

I want to start my thoughts tonight by saying that my heart goes out to the victims of this horrific tragedy in Boston this afternoon. At time of writing there are 3 dead and 117 injured according to multiple media sources.

Al Tompkins posted today one of the things that I was thinking watching the video coming out of Boston. In all of the video that I have watched of the horrific events that transpired this afternoon in Boston, you can clearly see two groups of people running in the opposite directions of the crowds: the first responders and the journalists.

Both of those groups managed to put aside personal safety, as they had no idea how many more bombs could be in the area, as they ran into that area. The first responders, heroically, tending to the injured and the journalists, witnessing the horrific things that we do, to keep the people at home informed of what was happening, to tell the stories of the people down there, and to get out the emergency information needed to keep people safe.

I don’t want to downplay the actions of the first responders, and I don’t want to overshadow the magnitude of what happened today. But… The journalists working on the ground will be forever scarred by the events that happened today. Well…not just those on the ground, but their producers, tape editors, control room crews, etc. who have all seen the un-edited, raw video that is coming in from the scene. Those kinds of pictures, many of which you never see on your television screens at home, leave a lasting impression on you. Believe me when I say this, as I have first-hand experience having been in a newsroom on 9/11/01 and watching an un-edited CNN NewsSource feed from New York City. And those who have covered the event on the ground or in the control room today will be working late into the night, running mostly on adrenaline. It won’t fully hit them until later tonight, or tomorrow, or next week what exactly happened today. I imagine that among the journalists (and first responders) that there will be a lot of “OMG” moments to come.