Friday, September 02, 2005

I wonder if this ever happened to Cronkite?

In the past few days I have often wondered about the mental health of the journalists covering catastrophic events like these. What I had to deal with at work in the newsroom yesterday- reading story after story about the devastation, not being able to escape the images of wreckage and ruin- left me feeling depressed and raw. It was horrible to be bombarded by all those images of suffering but it was nothing compared to how hard it must be for those how are actually there.

I wonder if this ever happened to Cronkite? I wonder if it was ever this bad covering Vietnam or WWII?

NBC's Kerry Sanders was at the airport in New Orleans, which is serving as a makeshift hospital and transport center for hospital patients:
  • I cannot believe what I am seeing here in the New Orleans area. IÂ’ve been reporting for 21 years around the world and I've never seen the likes of this.
  • This is, I think, the hardest story IÂ’ve ever covered. Emotionally, IÂ’m just really being tested. I cannot believe what IÂ’m seeing.
  • Perhaps the most difficult thing for me was when I woke up this morning next to two dead bodies....went to sleep last night on an extra stretcher....The cameraman with me said they actually tried to take my stretcher during the night. They thought that I was one of the victims, until he told them I was OK and to leave me there.
  • It is human misery as people are lying in pain, ailing and wailing....The pained screams from patients is like fingers on a chalkboard because there is nothing you can do to reach out and help these people.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, I added it to my list and will check in often!

Best Wishes,
Ken
Speed Reading

Career Guy said...

The only time I ever saw Cronkite come close to cracking that calm persona of his was in that famous tape of him announcing that President Kennedy had died. He took off his glasses and paused momentarily and then went on.

But yes, you have to wonder about reporters and their closeness to the story.