A note to my Virginia media friends

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This morning I was awakened as my phone buzzed with a news push alert.

“TV Reporter & Photographer in Virginia Shot, Killed During Live Newscast.”

I froze. Stunned.

Part of me didn’t want to click on the article to find out who it was. The other part of me was furious my phone wasn’t loading the story faster.

I thought of my dozens of media friends and colleagues I’ve worked with over the past six years in Virginia.

I can’t stop thinking about you.

Reporters, photographers, producers, editors, managers – all of you having to report on this horrific tragedy that still seems unreal.

Part of me wants to be back there. The other part of me wants to stay far, far away.

Ironically, an hour after learning the news, I was sitting in a room full of journalists. A group of us from different cities across America have gathered in Salt Lake City for a media training workshop.

As I looked at the diverse crowd, I was reminded once again how important our jobs are – and I couldn’t be more proud to be counted among you.

In a blog post tonight, Jaye Watson, a TV reporter working in Atlanta, says it best.

“We will never get rich doing this. Many of us qualified for food stamps in our first TV jobs and spent a decade trying to hit the $40,000 mark.

[But] deep down inside, we are the same in believing that we can make a difference.

We can change things.
We can expose rot.
We can give a voice to the voiceless.
We can make people happy.
We can make them angry.
We can be the catalyst for change.”

Deseret Digital Media, the company hosting the training workshop I’m attending, has a powerful mission statement:

To be trusted voices of light and truth reaching hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

While I didn’t know Alison Parker and Adam Ward, I know they were voices of light and truth – working to make a difference.

Their senseless deaths remind me to do the same.

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