I have worked at a local news station, not as a reporter, but with the news crew and promotions. Now I am on the other side. We get calls from media. We roll our eyes sometimes when they call. Get frustrated when they get the story wrong. We joke about them and with them. But when it comes down to it, they are like family. Even the frustrating ones that threaten to go all FOIA on us for things out of our control. They need us and we need them. In many cases, those of us in PR were once "on the other side." Today our hearts break at the loss of two young lives at WDBJ 7 in Roanoke, VA – Allison Parker and Adam Ward. The following are things I read today about them. Allison and Adam were like brother and sister. Adam, 27, was engaged to a morning producer at WDBJ and it was her last day. He and his fiancée were planning to move to Charlotte where she got a new job. The station had planned a party. He was a huge fan of the Hokies having graduated from there in 2011. One of the local anchors at WDBJ said Adam told her, "I think I'm going to get out of news. I think I'm going to do something else." Allison, 24, was a JMU grad. Her colleagues said she was a "rockstar." What hurts the most for many of us locals, is that she was secretly dating news anchor Chris Hurst, and they were talking about getting married. "She was the most radiant woman I ever met," Hurst wrote. "And for some reason she loved me back." Turn off Twitter and Facebook for a day. It will just piss you off. Because… politics. But take the time to say a prayer for the friends and families of these two amazing people. And then, yes, say a prayer for journalists around the world. Although we love to hate them, journalism is a very dangerous job. I have worked with women who have been stalked by crazed "fans." Some photographers carry a gun on the job, "just in case." We have heard the international stories. And now, Allison and Adam. God bless their families and friends. And God bless those who bring us the news.
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