By Allison Nekola – Co-Editor-in-Chief
The attack on Paris left the world speechless. Pain, anger, and disgust are all emotions that correlate with the merciless crime. Being a news junkie, I scoured the Internet to gather as much information as humanly possible.
One graphic video, shot by journalist Daniel Psenny, evoked admiration for all journalists who risk their lives for the story. Where other civilians flee, journalists sprint to the action no matter how dangerous it may be.
I was possessed, Googling every possible keyword to transport through the laptop screen and into the streets of Paris. Palms sweating and heart racing, adrenaline pumped through my veins.
I unearthed a second video, where award-winning photographer Patrick Zachmann crouched behind the wheel of a car, only a few feet away from the bullets sparking off the ground in a crossfire between police and the shooters, to record the scene. He sprinted after police sirens, and sure as hell a tragedy struck.
My lungs constricted; my nails gouged the cushion of my red couch. Horrified, I continued digesting every detail I collected.
Are these videos ethical? How did I stomach the gruesome, heart-wrenching content and furthermore, why was I committed to learning every piece of information?
Am I a monster? No. I am a journalist. My passion for the story trumps my survival instincts. When it comes to fight or flight, I choose neither. I stand, camera in hand, ready to share the story with the world. I crave truth.
As journalists of the digital age, time and place are crucial. To hurl yourself into chaos has been, is, and always will be the defining characteristic of an extraordinary journalist. I encourage this generation of journalists to embrace this characteristic; our nerve surpasses our sensitivity and that’s okay.
This curious nature uncovers scandal, corruption, triumph; all of which are crucial to world history. Someday, we will be the ones to detect, expose, and unveil the stories our grandchildren’s children read in history class.
I am nauseated, repulsed even by the Paris attacks, but I’m thankful for the journalists who risk their lives to educate and inform the public. My message to fellow journalists in this community is simple. When chaos unfolds and your choices are security or the story, run into the eye of the story…even if your legs quiver.