One of the responsibilities on the anchor desk is to bring you the news without injecting too much of our own emotion into the delivery of the story. When the story is a joyful one, though, we will add a joyful tone. When it is of a tragedy, we will bring the tone down. When I prepare for a newscast, I often think about how I would explain a story to a friend, and then proceed with the writing and the tone of the story. However, I always must keep in mind my responsibility to the facts and objectivity.
Then you get a story like the one from Edgecombe County Friday, where lawmen said a teen died tied to a tree, and that his father told police it was a form of discipline.
I hate those stories. I give kudos to my colleagues who reported the story Friday and through the weekend and was fortunate that I had time to marinate on the story before having to eventually report the inevitable update on it Monday morning. Stories like those almost make an anchor wish you didn't pay attention to what you were saying because you just can't believe what's coming out of your mouth.
However shocking and tragic, stories like that become part of the record of the day, and thus, part of the newscast. I think it's important our viewers know that, behind the scenes, stories like that shock us, too.
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