This week has been the most intensive, intense and difficult reporting that I’ve ever done.
It’s also been, by far, the most rewarding.
People had been protesting in Baltimore for a few days over the death of Freddie Gray, but nonlocal media hadn’t really paid that much attention to Charm City until Monday a week ago, when the town was hit with a riot — buildings and cars burned, stores looted, the whole nine yards.
Monday night was also an interesting experience on Towson’s campus. There was a bomb threat or a gunman threat or nobody is really entirely sure what the call was about, because TUPD are difficult to work with, but there was some sort of a threat on campus, in the library.
A threat, I might add, that was absolutely unfounded. Nobody was found. Police indicated that it wasn’t even connected to the events in Baltimore.
But, of course, everyone freaked out and overhyped the situation. It was disgusting to watch media personalities exploit the developing stories and make things seem a LOT worse than what any official communication was saying.
I learned, Monday night, that a huge part of being a working journalist is fighting off waves of misinformation.
Later in the week, things took a turn for the better. I attended and covered a student-led rally on campus and then followed those same students into Baltimore for a march that they led there.
Chasing after the crowd was intense. Seeing all the emotion was intense. Reporting on the experience was difficult.
But it was so, so worth it. I got into the field and I think it really helped me hone my abilities when it comes to what kind of detail a reporter should be looking for when they’re in a rushed situation.
Experience is the coolest way to learn.
This feels silly. This feels incomplete. But there’s not much more that I can say? I did a lot of reporting this week. I gave up a story to keep covering my new, unofficial, Freddie Gray Beat.
I’m sure I’ll come back and say more. Maybe?