Journalists are members of the community too 

When coronavirus first swept the nation, as a small newspaper, admittedly one of our staff's first reactions was with everything canceled, there would be nothing to cover.

I can now confirm several months later, we were absolutely incorrect in that assumption. In fact, the complete opposite occurred with more news happening than our swiftly depleting staff could get to.

Day-after-day I came into work giving updates about new COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries. Meanwhile other breaking news did not stop and time-after-time, the theme remained -- discouraging and gruesome.

First, The Register broke news of the discovery of missing Richmond mom Ella Jackson's remains, and the arrest of her husband, Glenn Jackson, turning the case from missing persons to an active murder investigation that is still on-going.

Next came the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as a result of police brutality, sparking demonstrations across the nation, which made their way to Madison County.

I remember telling my coworker, "How weird would it be if next week we have to cover protests here?"

And like clockwork, a message was sent to my inbox the next day notifying me of a peaceful protest which would be held at the courthouse the following Saturday.

Again, our staff went and covered the event to the best of our abilities. And I would be lying if I said the negatives and the tumultuous year our nation is experiencing did not start to get to me personally.

As a reporter, and especially at a small-town newspaper, you are expected to keep it together and face the facts.

In doing so, I reported to the best of my ability accurate, and unbiased news.

But last Wednesday, it happened again when my coworker texted our staff group message late saying Madison Central senior Manny Prewitt had gone missing on Herrington Lake.

I thought, "This can't be happening -- not more bad news."

But nonetheless, we carried on, reaching out and keeping updated.

Almost a week later on Tuesday night, it all came to a head for me.

Messages were coming in of missing kids at Poosey Ridge (who were later safely found), the unexpected death of Congressman Andy Barr's wife, Carol, and news broke of search crews finally recovering the body of Prewitt in the span of maybe one hour.

And just like that, in the middle of breaking news, I broke down.

I sobbed emotionally, and cried, "This year is just full of death. Coronavirus deaths, police killings, Ella, Manny and the congressman's wife. 2020 is the year of death."

I recalled something someone who asked me previously a question which infuriated and perplexed me: "Don't you all profit off all of this?"

Although that could be argued as true in some fashion, I personally am in this business to provide truthful news and factual information to the public. It is never my goal to profit off the misfortune of others, but to make aware the masses.

That being said, we as journalists are humans, too.

We have feelings, emotions and the death and turmoil of loved ones in the community affect us just the same. Just like anyone else in Madison County, we are close knit to those in our area and the people who live here -- because it is our job to be and because this is my home as well.

I take so much pride in the relationships I have made in my two years at The Register, and how close I have become to officials, families and persons of Madison County.

And although my title is journalist, I am a human being first. A Kentuckian. A resident of Richmond. It is my home, and I hope to make a difference here, and leave an impact by telling the stories of those who make our community great.

While 2020 may be one of the worst years we have faced recently, I hope to face it with everyone, and make the future one that is much a better place to report, live and love, for everyone.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.

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