Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Voice of a Mother Reveals The Tragedies Emerging From China Earthquake Zone

Melissa Block Lets Us Feel The Grief of the Many Parents Left Without A Child

"All Things Considered" co-hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block continue to file gripping dispatches from the hardest hit parts of Sichuan province still coping from the earthquake.
As we noted yesterday, this is radio news at its very finest.
The hard news has been left to others. Instead, the NPR crew has closely covered the human dimension of the tragedy, which has been magnified by the thousands of children who perished. Their deaths resonate all the more because of China's one-child policy. Parents now have no one to comfort, no one to be comforted by.
Perhaps Block, who has one child herself, felt this part of the story especially tugged at her. Or maybe it's just watching parents awash in sorrow after being told that the worst thing that could happen to them has indeed occurred.
Either way, a report Block filed yesterday left her shaken and near tears, as she described frantic parents holding on to a fraying shred of hope that their 2-year-old son would be found as excavators clawed through the rubble of what was once their home.
If you think that Block's reaction is not how a reporter should act on the job, then I dare you not to feel the same way as you listen. It is raw, genuine emotion. To have done anything short of empathizing would have been dishonest let alone inappropriate. And Block's dispatches have been anything but.

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