Thursday, December 9, 2010

And They Say Journalists Are Jaded......

Having spent nearly all of my adult life working in the news gathering business, I can tell you that it takes something pretty powerful to bring a newsroom to a complete stop.

Usually, the places where journalists work are loud and bustling, as reporters, editors and photographers scramble to meet deadlines, or in the case of broadcast newsrooms, go live on the air. But even the most jaded and cynical journalists are sometimes stopped dead in their tracks as something plays out on national television.

As a younger reporter, I remember the staff of the New Jersey newspaper I worked for at the time huddled around a television set as Earvin "Magic" Johnson told the world he had AIDS.

Today was another one of those moments, albeit in a different time, a different place and a different subject.
Today, it was Dr. William Petit and his interview with Oprah Winfrey that brought the Register newsroom to a standstill as he talked about the July 2007 murders in Cheshire and what his life has been like since then.
Most of my colleagues hadn't been in the courtroom the way that Randy Beach, Chris March, Ed Stannard and I had during the trial of Steven Hayes, who was convicted and sentenced to death this fall for the murders of Petit's wife and daughters. But even for those us who saw the Hayes' trial in person, Petit's interview with Oprah was riveting.

"I think that's the first time I've ever seen him smile," Stannard said as we watched Petit talk with Oprah.

2 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

Don't leave us hanging Luther! I didn't see it, but what did you and Stannard and the people who covered the trial think of the interview?

December 9, 2010 at 4:25 PM 
Blogger Luther Turmelle said...

Phil:

I think everyone was deeply touch by the pictures and videos of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, many of which I don't recall having seen anywhere else before.

It's hard to watch knowing that there will be no more of these happy memories for Dr. Petit and his extended family.

December 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM 

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