Monday, July 30, 2012

(Heart) Breaking News

Breaking News. As a news reporter I've used the term, but found the term doesn't say enough. In most cases it should be "Heartbreaking News."

Often that "Breaking News" carries information that is heartbreaking for someone or a group of people. Imagine for example how many people were affected by the movie theater shooting in Colorado.

I've learned from personal experience that most news stories affect someone or a lot of someones. A story about an automobile accident that claimed a life or lives can impact a lot of people.

As you become entrenched in a community you come to know more people and sometimes find yourself reporting on someone you know or someone you know knows them. I recently reported on the death of Fond du Lac County's Social Services Department Kim Mooney. We weren't friends just acquaintances, but she impressed me as someone who cared about the people she worked for and with. Covering a Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony I spoke to someone who knew her and was impacted by her death.

I was coverning news live at the scene of a deadly standoff in March of last year in Fond du Lac where Police Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed. I saw that day the effect it had on seasoned law enforcement officers and the way it affected the whole community in the weeks to come. That was "Heartbreaking News."

We saw the Fond du Lac County community rally behind a bunch of motorcyclists from Michigan when their group was hit by a Hilbert man driving on Highway 151 at the end of May. Lives were touched on both sides of Lake Michigan in the weeks and months since. "Heartbreaking News" that united people who until then knew nothing about each other.

The term "Breaking News" should be used judiciously because often it's accompanied by "Heartbreaking News."

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