Monday, February 18, 2008

Hero Worship not a journalistic thing to do

In this celebrity-crazed world, it is difficult to not do a little "hero worshipping" when a celebrity appears. This may have been the case for some young journalists who covered the visit of Hillary Clinton to South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley as she drummed up support for her Democratic bid for president. Even professionals have a problem with this and, reportedly,  with visits from Barack Obama (whose photo is fetured with this post), Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and other politicos in the horizon, the possibilities of someone getting a case of the "heroes" is more prevalent than ever. Young reporters must focus when covering important stories like a visit of a top presidential candidate to the area. They must remember that they are there on an assignment and not on a leisurely stroll down ga-ga land. To be able to accomplish this, a young reporter must prepare throughly for the assignment. Because there is a chance he or she may get "tongue-tied (a case or the heroes will do this)," questions must be prepared in advance. It is advisable, also, to carry a digital recorder just in case the "heroes" turn into jitters. Being prepared, for a journalist, is nothing new. Getting a case of the "heroes," however, can foil even a veteran reporter's attempt to get the story. So, stay calm, stay focused and get that story. Enjoy the moment. And, remember, nothing can replace the feeling of seeing your byline on an important story. Now, if you remember that, you can do your own hero worshipping. So, be a hero and get that story, no matter who or what is staring you in the face.