Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I'm Only Human.

Being a TV News Cameraman, I am meant to tell stories through the medium of video, to be honest, fair, sometimes dispassionate and always non partisan in politics. Just tell the truth as best I can. To do this I deal with real people, flesh and bone.

24 Hour care...

 Many times I have invaded people's lives, gone into their homes and opened up their private lives to the news watching public. It takes a great deal of courage sometimes for them to open up in front of my camera and to tell it like it is.

Mostly, I take it in my stride. Stick a story to tape, make pleasantries and say your goodbyes at the end. Move on to the next story, forget the past.

Sometimes though, it sticks with you. A story too close to home maybe, the hurt and the anger of witnessing an injustice in someone else's lives. Strangers lives. Strangers who tell you of their disability, sickness, lives turned upside down when health fails them. Normal lives lost, 24 hour caring, missed sleep and hospital visits. The coping, the crying, the pills and the pain.

Although they are strangers, I know them. I know them only too well.

When the system kicks them, it kicks them in the teeth. Hard. A computerised, dispassionate and money saving system that categorises, lists, formulates and decides with very little human intervention.

They try to fight it, to be recognised and counted. The system slows them down. More paperwork, emails, letters, Proof. Prove to the system that you warrant it's help, it's money, it's generosity.

This time, after my reporter had left to file the story, I stayed a while. We talked. I gave whatever knowledge of the system I had from hard fought experience. I told her to not only to care for her husband, but to care for herself.

I've never done this on a story before... We hugged.

We said our goodbyes. There is a long fight ahead. I wish them well.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk