Yesterday was a weird, weird day. I woke up excited to go to work - the Pulitzer winners were being announced at 3 p.m., and a series my paper published was a finalist in one of the categories. As much as I would like it to happen more often, I know it's a rare thing - so I really wanted to be there on such a historic day.
And then the shootings at Virginia Tech happened. I watched TV at home in disbelief (it's still five hours away, but jeeze - it's still my state) then went to work early, where people were hovering at my desk, watching two nearby TVs with worried looks on their faces. And yet for the Pulitzers, there were Pilot photographers and videographers and even a TV camera taking footage. There was champagne on the TV anchor's desk - we were going to toast whether we won or lost. It was such a weird environment, all that sadness and yet all that hopeful anticipation. We found out we lost, and our editor gave a very moving speech that made me very proud to be here, and we had a moment of silence for the shooting victims.
I think the tie that binds the sadness and the celebration is good journalism. The Pilot did a more-than-excellent job to get where we did in the Pulitzers. And we were going to cover this horrific event to the best of our ability. We have four open pages inside today's paper with lots of stories that hopefully educate and inform and even soothe our readers. I'm very proud of what we did.
I know it's trite and I wish I were a better writer, but I was proud of what we did yesterday, even though I wish so badly that these shootings never happened.