Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Tuning Out

Posted December 31, 2006 5:39 p.m. EST
Updated January 1, 2007 12:52 p.m. EST

Spending time away from work allows me the luxury of becoming an ordinary television news viewer again, well almost ordinary, for a short period time. 

The week between Christmas and New Year's is a time I traditionally spend away from my office.  It's a time for me to re-connect with my children, organize my house and  generally remember what it's like to be a civilian.  I don't immediately turn on the television every night or every morning to see what's happening in the world.  Instead, I enjoy my news the old fashioned way.  I read the newspaper with a cup of coffee every morning without concerns about rushing out the door for the school bus or getting dressed for work.

I get little snippets of news from our website whenever I log onto the computer.  I also get snippets in between playing new DVD's that my kids got from Santa Claus.  But it's not unusual for me to not be completely up to date about what's going on.  A friend will say:  "Did you hear about that big accident?"  For once, I can honestly say no, I wasn't aware of it.  The best part is that I don't feel guilty or feel like I'm missing anything.  I'm a real person with a real life that doesn't revolve around what's going on in outside of my peaceful suburban street.

Okay, so I admit, I still have my "Crackberry" tied to my hip most of the time.  I'm not completely disconnected.  I get e-mails from the newsroom and press releases that vibrate into my consciousness all day long.  But even the vibration doesn't cause me to jump like it does when I'm working.

I look forward to going back to work because I'm a Type-A person who thrives on hard work and challenges.  So, Tuesday, like the rest of America, I will don my uniform, a business suit, strap on the Blackberry and re-enter  the intense ranks of television news.  Hopefully, my short respite will help remind me that the world involves around many things other than the news, and hopefully, that will make me a better reporter...

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.