The Role of the Multimedia Journalist

Charles and Barbara Rigg, family photo

As a multi-media journalist, I am called up to perform at a high level.  I research, interview, operate video equipment, and present live TV reports.

Often, my work calls for me to deal with raw human emotions that are impossible to define on the screen.

Most recently, my heart goes out to the Rigg family for helping me share one of the hardest stories I’ve worked on in my short career.

In summary, I regularly called, interviewed, and visited members of the family for over a month while they searched for their missing, elderly parents in the rural mountains surrounding Boise.

In the end, Charles and Barbara Rigg were found to have passed away after just the sort of accident the Rigg family feared.

Read my original article: Searching for Barbara and Charles

For this family — and consequently for this reporter who shared their story — the pain of losing two parents is very real and transcends all attempts to “explain” or “re-tell” it.

In situations like these, I believe the role of the multimedia journalist isn’t limited to simply sharing this information — it should expand to inspire action and compassion in the community.

In this way, the journalist’s ability to transcend the “news” value and instill the “human” value becomes paramount.

Connections like these are visceral ones for me.  Many of the stories I have produced are hard for me to deal with on a personal level.

I often wonder:  if I can express just a fraction of the emotion — have I succeeded in doing my job?