I was browsing CNN.com last Friday night, and saw the headline: Atlanta hit with a tornado. I casually clicked on it, and then gasped and said, “Hey Paul, did you know CNN was hit with a tornado?” He immediately got online and talked to the webmaster who works the night shift. The tornado had done quite a bit of destruction in downtown Atlanta; and more specifically ripped out windows in Paul’s office. When he went into work on Saturday morning, he said that papers were EVERYWHERE. Below is something he wrote for my blog about his thoughts.
Working in a news organization day by day and seeing all that goes on in the world violence, famines, natural disasters, scandals, etc. it all starts to feel so far away. It becomes easy to poke fun, or not give a second thought about a suicide bomb going off in some obscure country.
Then once in a while something hit close to home, very close to home and there is the realization that what you are witnessing are people’s lives or at least a very small moment in their life and everything that was common place now becomes very real and very potent. After working almost two years at CNN the rare event of a tornado in downtown has been the second time I have come face to face with this realization.
I was not in the newsroom when the tornado hit but I did get a first hand look at the destruction and havoc it left in its path. This tornado could have been worst and I am glad that it was not. And I do admit that it is an amazing event that occurred; to be able to say yes I was there and witnessed first hand the aftermath. However, at the end of the day there is the reminder that no one is immune from anything that is on the news. And having that reminder helps me better empathize with is happening in the world because I know that at any moment I could be that person for better or worse.