Journalists died doing what they loved

SARA BERTSCH Editor-in-Chief

  Allison Parker died doing what she loved. Or at least, I assume she loved her job. Most journalists do.

    Parker, only 24, was shot and killed on live television. She was a reporter for WDBJ-TV, a station in Virginia. 

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one. The cameraman Adam Ward, 27, was killed too. Simply, because they were doing their job. 

   This isn’t the first time journalists were killed on the job either. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there have been 41 journalists killed this year alone and 1,143 since 1992. That’s a lot of people. 

    Why were they killed? Because they were doing their job. Journalists report on corruption, human rights, politics, wars and so much more. You name it, they cover it.

    Journalists are considered the watchdogs of society. It is more well-known as government watchdogs. They look into issues that concern the public and report on them. They find the facts and make sure you know what’s up. It’s an important job. 

    I’ve grown to love journalism. As a student journalist on campus, I’ve learned so much. 

    I get the privilege to talk to people on campus that I probably wouldn’t have even known, I get the “in” on things that most students don’t know and I know news before it happens. You might call it being snoopy, but I like to say I’m full of curiosity. 

   But with this job comes great responsibility. You owe it to your readers to get the story. Some journalists are die-hards in this aspect. They will do whatever it takes to get the news, and sometimes they find themselves in sticky situations so to speak. 

    It’s what we do. Some people might call you crazy or a workaholic, but when you love doing what you do, it really doesn’t feel like work. 

    And I think that’s what Allison Parker was doing the day she died. She was doing what she loved to do. 

   Her story was a simple feature in a local shopping district. Maybe she wasn’t getting “the story” or hard-breaking news, but it was still a story and she was doing it for her viewers. 

    It was then that someone took that away from her. That story will never be told. Not from Allison Parker’s perspective anyway. 

    Instead, people will remember that day when two journalists were shot on live television. 

    But I’m here to tell you, at least they died doing what they love. 

    When my roommate asked me if I heard about the shooting, I immediately thought “not again.” And then I found out they were young journalists and it hit home. 

    I love my job. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But when I heard something like this happened, I shook my head. 

    But then I think, they died doing what they loved. As horrible as that is, at least that gives it a little bit of a silver lining.

Sara Bertsch is the Editor-in-Chief for

The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected]