What to Do When Things Get Traumatic

I was going to go to a session called “WARNING: You Don’t Want to Be a Sportswriter,” but the guy never showed up. Sad day.

So I went around looking for a session and found one called “What to Do When Things Go Wrong.” It was about covering traumatic events like deaths of students and car accidents and stuff. I was kinda scared silly. I’m a simple sports writer. Writing about stuff like that is not up my alley.

But in case I ever have to, I learned some good things:

  • Be calm and avoid arguments. You need to remove the emotion of it and simply report without getting yourself in trouble.
  • Try not to ask permission for anything. Avoid closed questions in a situation like this.
  • Put on a professional mask. Have your emotional moments afterwards.
  • Covering traumatic events is a chance for your staff to be together. Whoever sees it reports on it. That’s a situation I may face.
– Zachary Horner
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