How can local media outlets cover an international conflict that’s taking place thousands of miles away? How can we do it in a way that doesn’t sow further division, but rather creates nuanced conversation? How can we do it in a way that will be meaningful?
These are the questions that have been keeping me up at night these last few weeks.
When the war broke out between Hamas and Israel after the former launched its unprecedented attack against innocent civilians on Oct. 7, I was busy packing for my trip to Japan. And for the next three weeks, I remained blissfully ignorant about the growing humanitarian crisis that was unveiling in the Gaza strip.
When I returned at the end of October, people reached out to Triad City Beat to ask how we were covering the conflict and why we had been silent thus far.
The question is simple: We didn’t have the manpower to cover it then. But we do now.
Now that I’m back, I’ve been thinking day and night about TCB’s role in this moment. And as I contemplated the dilemma and talked to Sam, my husband, on a recent walk, the answer became simple: We cover it the way we always do, by putting those most impacted at the center.
When I started covering police shootings several years ago, I learned that the important thing was to always center the experiences, feelings, lives of the people who had had their loved ones taken away by an unjust system. The “giving the voice to the voiceless” kind of thing we always say in journalism.
So that’s what we’ll do here.
Of course, it’s difficult to do when the direct conflict is happening across the world, but we know that in the Triad, many have family, friends, colleagues who are scared for their lives because of the war. People are hurting right here in the Triad.
Mothers, children, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters fear that their homes, their hospitals, their entire worlds, will be blasted away at any given moment. Still others wait for the safe return of their families after being taken as hostages.
So here, on the grounds in our little corner of the world, we’ll do our best to give a voice to what’s happening there, because despite the distance we know that what’s happening now and how we respond to it is a direct reflection of all of our collective humanity.
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