Kimberly Mata-Rubio, a journalist at The Uvalde Leader-News, is one of hundreds of mothers who have buried their children this year because of gun violence. Her daughter, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, “Lexi,” died in her elementary school on May 24, 2022, one of 21 people to have their lives stolen that morning. None of their families, the community, nor the newsroom will ever be whole again.
Incidents of gun violence on school grounds may not always get widespread national press attention, but they are, increasingly, the types of crimes that local newsrooms reluctantly find themselves covering. Thrust into these grave moments of community crisis, journalists have to make quick decisions about how to fulfill their duty to inform the public while demonstrating exceptional restraint and caution in how they acquire information, approach sources and communicate with their audiences.
Businesses used to pay newspapers obscene amounts of money to run help-wanted ads; then, job seekers paid for access to where the employers were. But monopolies rarely last forever, and like with every other facet of life, the internet came in and disrupted the traditional dynamic. So, what’s the alternative to a dating app culture becoming the way we hire people?
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