It’s just as well that I didn’t budget time for non 9-5 articles this month, because covering the Thomas Fire for the Ventura County Star has taken up most of my energy. I’d like to say that it’s been a trying few weeks for the newsroom — which is true — but it hardly compares to the trauma that county residents who have been displaced are going through.
I’d hesitate to call this a “good” journalism experience for me personally because that just sounds insensitive. Still, it can sometimes be hard to feel like anything I do in the industry matters, do I ever make a positive difference, nihilism and so on.
When something terrible like the Thomas Fire happens, I can at least say it feels good to be able to spotlight individuals and organizations that are genuinely trying to create positive change in response to the tragedy. I was briefly interviewed by a Santa Barbara radio station due to my work so I’d like to think I’m helping and making a difference in some small way.
Looking back, I wish I was a bit more measured in the live videos I Tweeted and I would’ve liked to have the time to cover the agricultural damage sustained during the fire sooner. Maybe I should’ve taken the initiative and done some super up close and personal photos when the fire had started. Marcus Yam’s photography for the Los Angeles Times was nothing short of incredible. Unbelievably inspiring stuff. But all things considered, I think I did Good.
More to come but in the meantime, I’ve linked my articles related to the Thomas Fire below: