I cover a lot of sad stories. I've never cried on live TV, but I have come close. And those have always been stories about children caught in the crossfire of violence. But this story brought tears to my eyes because of happiness. Sure, it comes from a sad story, but it's now one of resilience and faith.
I am not a religious person. I don't really talk about religion and I don't plan to get into that now, but I am a big believer in faith. The power of faith can do incredible things. Whether it's faith in your religion, faith in something bigger than you, or faith in yourself. It's a powerful thing. Yesterday I got to see that power in action.
In June, a 7-year-old girl was shot in a drive-by shooting. Her mother, father and uncle were shot as well. They all died. She was declared dead, but she started improving. Four months later I watched that little girl walk, talk and most importantly smile. Of course much is that is due to the incredible medical care she received from Children's Hospital, but I also believe much credit is due to her family, church and the little girl herself who never gave up.
I don't always get to share stories that make me cry tears of happiness, but this was one of them, and it's a story, and a family, and a belief in the something bigger that will stay with me long after the newscast. I hope this inspires you to start your week with a little George Michael quote, you've gotta have faith.
Today marks Day 11 of protests in St. Louis. Unless you really have been living under a rock, you’re aware that our city is once again under the spotlight after a white police officer killed a black man and was found not guilty. It’s been a tiring week for many – for those beyond frustrated with a legal system they do not feel will bring justice, for police officers working 12 hour shifts and for those of us in the newsroom who are doing are best to bring the most accurate coverage of everything happening on the streets of St. Louis.
The majority of the protests in our city have been peaceful. Disruptive, but peaceful. But some nights have turned violent. Windows have been shattered, officers have been hit with bricks, our crews have been threatened at gun point, spit on and called every name in the book. But we are committed to being on the ground, showing the viewer what’s happening.
Many people have said “just stop covering the protest, they’ll go away.” Well sorry to break it to you but that is simply not true. Whether our local news cameras are recording or not, someone is. Livestreamers, citizen journalists and anyone with a phone will continue to record what’s going on. But we as professional journalists believe we need to document and record and work to provide context. You may not agree with what you’re seeing on the TV – whether it’s police allowing protesters in the street or maybe you don’t like how police are wearing riot gear – but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And I believe we as journalists owe it to our community to bring them information.
Sometimes that information changes, and in breaking news situations things are happening fast. We do our best to only state facts, what we personally witness or what we are given from officials. But officials get it wrong too. I’ve had more hate emails, tweets and nasty Facebook comments than I can count. And they’re coming from “both sides.” Which in my opinion usually means I’m telling it down the middle... But I’ve also had strangers stop me at the grocery store, at the park, and on the street to thank me, and my coworkers for bringing them the coverage. Again they may not agree with it all, but those kind words, and their concerns for our safety mean a whole lot.
So thank you to the viewers, to those following along on Twitter, and for my mom’s friends who text her about my live shots. We do this for you. And I’ll end on this: Instead of typing something mean or hateful on Facebook, or making a judgment, try to make conversation instead. Real conversation. Ask a protester why they’re out there. Ask a police officer why they serve despite a tense climate. You just might learn something.
Here’s a look at some of my coverage throughout the last week of protest.
As a journalist, some days you tell the story you have to tell, other days you get to tell the story you want to tell. This was definitely a story I couldn't wait to share. I love telling stories about people doing awesome things in our city. You all know by now that I am a big cheerleader for St. Louis. I love this city and I can get frustrated with the haters.
As a news station we have to tell the good along with the bad, and while the bad can often overshadow everything else, it's important to remember there are so many people working to make this city better each and ever day.
The guys behind Arch Apparel are a prime example. They started the local t-shirt company a year ago and have simply blown up across the area. You can find their stuff in a bunch of local boutiques and on their website. One thing I love is when I spot people wearing Cardinals and Blues gear when I'm traveling, even more exciting is to see people wearing shirts that simply show their a fan of the city, not just a sports team.
Plus the shirts are printed at Tiny Little Monster, a printing company based in Maplewood, so it's all super local! Plus their stuff is really cute. I'm excited for my first Blues game this year so I can rock my new blue and yellow shirt!
These are my current favs on their site, I need to find a baby (someone else's please!) to give that adorable onesie!
If you missed the story you can watch it here!
I am always looking for stories about people making a difference in St. Louis. If you know someone that would make a great story please let me know! Shoot me a tweet/facebook message/email/comment below! Y'all know I'm checking it all way too often!
There are always tough stories in this business. Crime scenes, families raw with emotion, but some days are harder than others. The last two weeks have been extremely violent in St. Louis and it’s been hard to see my beloved city plagued by such senseless gunfire. A mother killed, a baby killed, crimes that just punch you in the gut.
I did several stories over the last two weeks surrounding some of the violence. An interview with Chief Sam Dotson about stolen guns, breaking news on the end to the man hunt for one of the alleged shooters, but reporting the news and trying to break down what can be done about these crimes can get disheartening. I truly do believe we as the media have an impact and an obligation to report on these crimes but also the proposed solutions. The reality is though there’s only so much the police can do. There’s only so much the social service programs can do. And sometimes that’s really frustrating. There was an excellent story in the Sunday New York Times about the violent Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago. Reading it, it could easily have been about St. Louis.
One moment I recall from last week was after our live shot in front of the memorial on Washington Avenue for Brandi Hill, a mother who was shot and killed, a woman came up to me. She was putting flowers on the memorial. She didn’t know Brandi but said someone had done the same for her father after he was killed. She and I spoke for a bit on the shocking nature of this crime, a deadly carjacking on the busy street in downtown. And then she asked if she could hug me. I said yes and that hug was exactly what I needed. We parted ways but her good nature of offering flowers to one stranger’s family, and a hug to another stranger, gave me hope. We need more people like that.
It’s why I try to use this space to highlight the good. St. Louis is such an incredible city, filled with incredible people. I spent a day the other week volunteering for Brightside. With a group of volunteers we cleaned up a park in South City. I met so many wonderful people working to make the neighborhood a more beautiful and safer place to live. If you know of people or programs working to make St. Louis a better place, let me know, I would love to hear about them. Let’s all hope for a quieter week for our city.
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write a bit more about my passions.