Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Reporter's Mind

I was thinking yesterday about what a different breed some reporters happen to be.

Anne Corbet, a very nice reporter with France Radio Internationale, was with me at my church yesterday morning. Since I teach Sunday School I was not able to be with her during that session, but I introduced her to some of the other teachers and let them know she might be dropping into their class. When she came into my class, she stood right be the podium holding her microphone up to capture the sound. It was just a tad bit disconcerting!

Then we moved to the main service of the morning. I had saved her a seat there with my family about halfway back in the auditorium. As is the case at my church everyone was greeting each other right up to the last moment. Then the choir started the opening anthem. There was Anne, walking down the center aisle. She was oblivious to all around her. She crept closer and closer to the front stage. I began to wonder if she would stand there through the whole service!

As soon as the song ended and there was a transition from the song to Pastor's welcome, I slipped up to Anne and quietly said, "Anne, would you mind sitting down so that you will not be a distraction?" She very graciously complied and quickly slipped into the end seat of the second row. Red-faced, I returned to my seat.

This is very typical of reporters and photographers. It got me to thinking why they don't think about how they may affect the circumstances in which they find themselves. I think I have the answer.

Reporters see themselves as observers. Because they see themselves as detached from the circumstances around them, they think that others in that circumstance see them the same way. Do you remember the funeral of Ronald Reagan? You could hardly hear the speeches over the clicking of the camera shutters. If you don't stop them, photographers will climb right up behind a speaker to get a shot of him facing the crowd.

They think they are invisible.

Now, not all reporters and photographers are this way. I always appreciate the newspaper journalist who shows up for an event dressed to fit the occasion rather than in the traditional sloppy attire of this trade. I'll bend over backward for the photographer who asks about the parameters of an event and is considerate of those around him.

I should be spending some more time with Anne this afternoon. I wonder where she may wander this time?


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