For 354 days, Mackenzie Grant was a morning news producer for a TV station. Until the election of 2016. “The results deflated me in a way I wasn’t expecting. A Trump presidency meant fighting for an industry that would never fight for me.”
I have written about Mackenzie Grant before. Her parents are long-time family friends who lived on the same block as we did back when I worked at WESH in Orlando.
My daughter used to babysit Mackenzie.
I was somewhat tickled when Mackenzie decided to work in local TV after college. Plus, I was interested in her perspective as someone just entering into the local TV news business. So I wrote about her when she first graduated to be a digital news producer and then when she switched to be a news producer.
I’m Facebook friends with Mackenzie, and when I saw that she had posted a deeply personal and moving account of her time as a news producer, The Duty We Call Journalism: My Year in News During the 2016 Election, I asked her if I could share it.
Here are the opening paragraphs.
For 354 days, I wanted more than anything to be like my fictional hero, Mackenzie McHale — the protagonist and executive producer on HBO’s Newsroom.
If you take nothing else from the rest of this post, know that these people exist in real life.
These journalists hell-bent on presenting the facts, spend countless hours, making nearly nothing to fulfill the duty we call journalism.
On this day, two years ago, I was one of those people.
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