Dispatches from the Control Room – February 15

* Hard to wrap your head around yet another school shooting, this one in our backyard. Everyone here at NBC5 hopes for healing and solace for the victims and their families.

* Kudos to the staff of the Northern Star, NIU’s student newspaper. I wrote for my school paper in college, but I was merely a wise-ass opinion columnist. I can’t fathom how journalists so young can push through the tragedy to cover the story and find time to grieve. The biggest stories are often the most tragic, and that’s when the journalists most involved earn their stripes. Well done, guys.

* On a day like today, there’s really only one story anyone cares about. I included other items in my newscast, but that’s because information is so scarce about the shooting. Nothing really changed overnight. We need to know more about the shooter – who was this guy and what drove him to do this? The real story, as with most tragedies like this, is the epidemic of untreated mental illness in this country. People aren’t getting help and it’s leaving us all vulnerable. The shooter was reportedly ordered to a psychiatric hospital at one point. And even then, he must not have gotten the help he needed. Just a sad story all around.

* My show was an awful mess today. Police on the NIU campus tried to shove our reporter off the scene, then there was some sort of technical problem where we couldn’t see/hear the reporter, a tape wasn’t cut in time, and with all of the changes and chaos, I ended up setting fire to half my newscast just to make time for everything. I had an entire segment of my show that was merely 30 seconds long, teasing the next hour. Those things happen when you’ve got breaking news thrown in your lap. HAL-9000 wasn’t all that cooperative, either. Stupid new technology.

* Still, there are other stories requiring a solid blogging. Take the restaurant in Minneapolis that allows you to eat sushi off a naked model. The owner says the models have to be hairless. Really. Thanks for the mental picture. I had no idea raw fish could be made less appealing.

* One reason my fellow singles and I should be glad we’re floating on an ocean of isolation: dating is expensive. BusinessWeek estimates that from the first date through a wedding, you’ll spend an average of $40,000. That’s two and a half years of flowers, presents, dinners and vacations. By that math, I’ve saved more than $160,000 during my dry spell. Yahtzee!

* My nerves are frayed from the back-to-back combo of a solitary Valentine’s Day and a rocky newscast, so I’m going to go home and pass out. Enjoy your weekend, everybody.

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2 responses to “Dispatches from the Control Room – February 15

  1. It’s hard to understand why events like this happen. My thoughts and prayers are with the NIU community as they try to get through this.

    On a lighter note: True, dating can be expensive, but isn’t it worth it if you’re spending it with someone special? LOL Don’t be too sad on having a solitary Valentine’s day – there were many of us like that. :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Ben hit it on the head. I remember covering a wild story like Bob Knight getting fired from Indiana in 2000 and you do earn your stripes. But the work by the kids at the Northern Star and at NIU TV should be honored. It was amazing to see the images and they really poured their heart into the story.

    God bless and get some rest.

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