i create. i am a creation.

On covering dead children

Posted on: August 4, 2014

“Being calmly rational about dead children feels like a very particular form of madness. Whatever else journalistic objectivity is, it surely cannot be the elimination of human emotion. If we don’t recognise that, we are not describing the full picture.” How can journalists be objective when writing about dead children? by Giles Fraser (The Guardian)

Palestinians gather around the body of 40-day-old baby Kerem Ebu Zeyid, who died after Israeli attacks in Gaza on 29 July. Photograph: Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

That’s why I can’t cover war. Or famine. It’s gut-wrenching trying to be objective when kids are involved. Going to Yolanda-hit areas already shattered me. I am a very passionate and emotional person pa naman. Kaya it’s better for me to be a heartless business reporter. (hehe)

No, really. I can’t cover these topics because it destroys me. People like me are oftentimes taken over by emotions. The reason why I lasted as a business reporter is because it is one of the coldest subject a non-initiated journalist can think of covering. The reason I cannot cover war, disasters, famine, and depressing things like that is because I hate them. I hate covering things I abhor because I cannot distance myself from the reasons that why these stuff happen. I will always take sides and it will reflect through my writing. I cannot possibly write about dead children without any emotion lest I be accused of being a sappy unprofessional journalist.

Some people thrive in reporting horrors like that and I do salute people who do because without them, who would deliver to us the news from the ground?

But then, I will be the last person raising my hand for the assignment. Not because I am afraid of the uncomfortable circumstances but because it will rip my heart and head apart.

Which reminds me, I haven’t been debriefed from my Yolanda coverage.


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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
August 2014
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