How a Sky News Interview Over The Florida Gay Club Massacre Revealed What It Means To Be A Journalist
As the world grappled with the mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Florida, USA, a journalist stormed out of a Sky News studio in anger. After desperately trying to explain that the massacre was a targeted attack on the LGBT community, The Guardian reporter Owen Jones tore out his hidden microphone and left program host Mark Longhurst and fellow journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer in confusion. They just didn’t get it. They couldn’t understand that failing to acknowledge those directly involved was a slap in the face to the LGBT community worldwide.
One thing you learn when studying journalism is finding the target audience in every story. When you tell a story about a mother having her baby stolen by a crazed ex-husband, you are writing to all mothers. When you tell a story about retirement welfare payments being prodded at by a politician, you are writing to all elderly people. And when you tell a story about a gunman murdering 50 people in an LGBT nightclub, you are talking to all LGBT people.
How can the screams in the LGBT community be heard if vital points of their story are being withheld?
A journalist may not be able to fix a problem with one story, but they can empower the affected people to do something about it.