Newsrooms and hospitals have one major thing in common: the “hush” is the loudest thing anyone ever hears. The “hush” is the moment when normal activity stops cold for an announcement of major events that will entirely reshape any usual activity. While both newsrooms and hospitals stop on that kind of news — and then, following it, race into a whirlwind of overdrive — the similarities end there.
Hospitals gird for the incoming and the flood of bad news to follow; most newsrooms do not. In a newsroom, tragic events are met with a different vibe: an electric jolt that energizes the room with a sense of self-importance.
The shot of adrenaline that surges through a newsroom is fascinating to watch. After the initial rush, the newsroom is never satisfied. There is a reason why the term “news junkie” exists; there is always the next twist, the next piece of fresh information, the next set of numbers (think of the alcohol shots of “news” that an election night provides with its changing and evolving big story).
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That’s the backdrop of what took place on Saturday. The initial news breaks, the “what.” A shooting in a crowd in Arizona…might be, yes, now confirmed…a U.S. representative. Followed shortly by the scale of the attack, where it occurred, and the emergency response taking place. Once the “what” is established, then the other ws come into play. Journalists live by an old truism, the rule of ws — Who, What, When, Where, Why. The change to the profession over the past thirty-plus years I have been in it is the last w, the “why.” The first four are always the easiest. Those were known within minutes of the story breaking. But the “why” takes time, and news in the 24/7 world of news today doesn’t have time to wait for answers. Worse — now it refuses to wait for them.
Read More: By John Fricke, American Thinker