Sometimes the news hits way too close to home.
Last Friday, students, faculty and staff in the School of Media Sciences (SMS) learned of Professor Edline Chun’s passing. A friend and mentor to many, her death left an indelible mark on the RIT community.
After learning of the incident, Reporter quickly worked to develop a story on the matter, which we published online later that evening. As a student in the SMS, it’s an incredibly emotional story to watch develop: The subjects involved were all my professors and peers.
Covering a death is one of a writer’s most challenging tasks. It’s an emotionally challenging time to conduct interviews, and reporters must take extra care to address the bereaved’s special needs.
These sort of interviews may be fraught with ethical conundrums — but they are also essential. This is journalism in its purest form.
First and foremost, Reporter’s job is to disseminate information. Especially in such a situation where rumors may spread, it’s important to ensure information is verified.
But especially in a situation like this, Reporter has the opportunity to capture the zeitgeist and help the RIT community as a whole unite in the honor of the dearly departed. While the Institute’s official emails do express their heartfelt sympathies, these sorts of stories allow the people they lived, socialized and worked with to pay their final tribute.
At its core, Reporter is community focused. We’re there on the sidelines of every major event, reporting RIT’s happenings, raising important questions and, in cases like this, memorializing those who have left a powerful impact on Brick City. To Benjamin and Edline: May you rest in peace.