I love being a journalist, I really do. I love dissecting a certain topic; digging deep into whatever matter; interviewing people; putting the given information into context; doing research; writing the story and then seeing it in print the next day / week / month.
I might have been in this industry for over nine years, seeing my byline in the newspaper or some magazine still give me that *Woooaaaahhhh!* feeling.
Look, in order to be a successful (freelance) journalist, you have to know what is going on ‘out there’ in order to pitch stories to your editors. And in order to know what is going on, you have to read the newspapers, listen to the radio, and wade through the internet in search for relevant news topics.
Usually, I have no problem with that. Today, however, is “one of those days”. Take a look at this screenshot.
“But you are not a crime reporter so what is the big deal?”, you’d reply. Indeed, I generally do not write about crime, accidents, rape, murder, and other shit. But we journalists – regardless of our field of expertise – are confronted with it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
And sometimes, dear reader, it is getting me down. And it is not just that, but also the fact that so many South Africans have become sort of numb for this crap. Many shrug when they read stories about raped toddlers, Facebook rapists, and other horrible things. I do understand that to a certain extent: shit like that happens every single day. You’d end up in a mental institution if had to think about everything for too long 365 days per year.
But still … A baby stabbed to death with a broken bear bottle? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?