3rd of March, 2012 · 4 Comments
I did something yesterday that I regret doing and wish I could take back. I went out and took photos of a gnarly bad car wreck for work.
Part of my job as a reporter includes covering things like that. I observed all the laws I know about and I stayed out of the way and wasn’t a nuisance.
But more than anything, I remembered that I was taking pictures of someone else’s mom or sister or friend. I tried to take pictures that showed damaged vehicles and rescue workers while preserving the privacy of the injured people.
But I still feel like a scumbag.
It was news, and it needed to be covered for the newspaper, but that just feels like rationalization to me. As I stood out on the sidewalk and took photos, I really felt like a jerk. I still feel like a jerk. Those photos will sell papers. Photos I took of people who will likely spend the next few days in the hospital, maybe much more. People who, if they were as bad off as they looked, will never be the same. And even if they are the same, their insurance will go up, they’re cars are totaled, their families are worried, and their medical bills will will make their lives really hard.
And there I was, taking photos, being a vampire. I wasn’t hindering anybody, but I certainly wasn’t helping.
I know I didn’t do anything illegal, and I know I didn’t impede rescue workers. But I also know I didn’t do a damn thing to help anybody and I absolutely hate the idea of photos of me in a neck-brace and on a backboard being published in the local paper.
I hate that I took those pictures. I hate that I was available to go cover that event and that I wasn’t in the middle of an interview in Creston instead. Even if I never publish a single photo, I hate that I took them.
I wish I could apologize to the accident victims.