Reporters… or Vultures?


JRM 215 Intro to Mass Communications

I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of sadness after reading Diana Sugg’s post titled Angels and Ghosts: Anatomy of a story. Hearing the accounts of both Diana and photographer Monica Lopossay made me realize just how fragile the lines can be in reporting. I think that oftentimes as consumers of news, it can be easy for us to simply read an article and not think twice about the perspective of the interviewee. After gathering all of Diana’s accounts of not only how she felt throughout the entire process, but how young R.J. felt as well, I could really visualize the struggles that both parties had to face. Reporters are often assigned with the daunting task of doing the job that everybody else is afraid to do- to connect with the families that they are writing stories about, and to be vulnerable with them.

If I am being completely honest, if you were to ask me before I had read this article about how honest and transparent reporting in today’s society is, I probably would have been pretty skeptical. I just feel as if we are taught at a young age that news outlets are often biased and untrue, which means that reporting is a reflection of this as well. However, I believe that Sugg’s reflection of her time spent covering R.J.’s story is proof that reporters are not always the villains that we make them out to be. For example, throughout the article we can see that Diana had many moments of reflection and regret about what it was that she was doing. Being in that close of a space with a child that you know you can’t help is probably going to stay with those reporters for the rest of their lives. I like how Sugg stated, “They were among the most difficult I’d ever tried, but these articles did something remarkable for me: they taught me that I noticed stories others never saw, and I could get inside intimate arenas where few dared go. And even if I didn’t always have the physical strength, my heart was big enough to carry other people’s hurt.” I think that this reflection proves that even though reporting is often times difficult and controversial, the outcome of telling these stories is far more beneficial than we might think.

I used to believe that reporting only covered the hard facts, and that it was a very impersonal process. However, Diana Sugg’s journey regarding medical care for children who are dying opened my eyes to all of the raw emotion that reporters have to go through as well. I now see reporting as less of a “vulture” occupation, and have come to see all of the benefits that this vocation brings. I thought that Sugg and Lopossay did an amazing job of telling an authentic and beautiful representation of what it is like to be caring for a child who cannot be saved. Gathering all of the minute details of someone’s life, and collecting them into an authentic story that doesn’t offend anyone is quite the daunting task. Sugg did an outstanding job of highlighting the real life of a reporter, and all of the hardships that lie beneath the words on that page.


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