Columbine struck the day before my 6th birthday. I have no memory of the event and didn't fully understand it until I was much older. I hesitate to say that the school shooting in Connecticut was more tragic than Columbine -- taking lives is horrifying, no matter what the circumstances -- but it's unimaginable to think that someone purposefully took the lives of such young children yesterday. I can't get the tragedy out of my mind, and I think that's partially due to where I first heard the news.
Yesterday was the last day of my internship at Huffington Post Teen. The newsroom at The Huffington Post has several TVs that constantly display the news. From the moment the story broke on TV, the entire newsroom was talking about it -- and then writing about it. Editors debated the ethics of displaying children's faces in photos or whether or not journalists in Newtown had the right to interview children without their parents' consent. Tweets were hesitantly composed, but as one editor said, "What can we possibly say? It's awful. That's it." Throughout the day, the staff wrote extensively about the tragedy; my personal social media accounts were flooded with similar messages.
There have been too many shootings this year, and I've been in the Huffington Post newsroom for many of them. During some of the smaller shootings, the editors, other interns, and I watched the TV screens, and then had to go on with our day.
Yesterday, I realized that being in a newsroom for such a traumatizing event changes the way you perceive it. The story overwhelms you because not only do you need to process the news yourself, you're also involved in sharing it with others.
My thoughts are with the Sandy Hook community.