Well, it is Florida.
I never really understood why Florida attracts these huge random news stories that seem to take on a life of their own – drawing every Nancy Grace, live truck, and iphonarazzi™ to our neck of the woods. I’ve covered a more than a few of these. The abduction and murder of Carlie Brucia, Terry Jones, the pastor who hosted Burn a Koran Day, and Terry Schiavo. All three were elevated by the media and, yes, I include me in the “media.” I could try to feel better about it because I can see the bigger picture, but I didn’t have to accept an assignment to go shoot the morning Casey Anthony was sentenced for lesser crimes after being found not-guilty of the larger murder charge, but I did. There’s something almost gravitational about the circus surrounding these stories that I can’t put my finger on. I alway say I’m going to cover the circus, but in the end I end up juggling knives next to the person taming the lion. I have obligations to wonderful clients who keep my kids fed and my dogs happy.
The sentencing was uneventful at best. There were less protesters than media. In fact, you could count on two hands the number of people inside the little free speech zone taped off in front of the courthouse in Orlando. In the end, we end up taking photos of ourselves, in some sense, that actually makes sense now that I write it. These stories are indicative of where we are at in journalism. Headlines. 24/7. 140 characters. Stay tuned. Exclusive. Team Coverage. That’s all the time we have. I wish the energy were put into covering an actual issue – perhaps doing long form journalism. Documentaries. Investigative journalism. Actual reporting on actual issues that affect tens of millions of people instead of the effect of ten people watched by millions.
Alas, this is the world we live in, so what do we do? We document and the cycle continues. Over and over and over. Until the next one.
News of the World.