When you make the decision to become a Journalist, you have to know going in you are taking a risk.
In my years in TV news, I have been shot at in both the LA and Miami riots. I was almost burned to death in the Oakland Hills fire and I have covered more tornados and Hurricanes that I have lost count.
So, I was a bit surprised to learn that some Journalists abandoned their jobs as Hurricane Irma tracked her way to Florida.
At least three Anchor/Reporters working at Ft. Myers stations up and left the area, too scared to stick around to cover the storm. At least one Producer did the same thing.
But wait, you took a job in Journalism and you work at a station in Florida. You knew that a Hurricane could hit the state and yet you still took the job?
This was the biggest story to hit Southwest Florida in years and you bugged out?
"How do you introduce a person back into the newsroom, that left when the storm hit?," said one news manager to FTVLive.
I can understand someone fearing for their life and I can understand you leaving the area because of that fear. But, you now have to question the fact, is this the job for you? Being a Journalist is not just covering the county fair and a new store opening at the mall. Your job is to inform people and maybe help save their lives with that information.
Yet, when the time came, you left?
A station can't fire someone that left the area because they were scared, but what about all the others that were also scared, but came to work to do the job they signed up for? (Update: We're told you can fire an employee for job abandonment. It depends upon circumstances and company policy.)
What does it say to them when the person that abandoned their job reports back to work "when it's safe"?
If you are one of those that ran from the storm because you were scared, or you would have done the same thing, here's some advice.
There are plenty of jobs in PR or selling furniture. Please go take one of those jobs and leave the Journalism jobs to those that are willing to do it no matter what.
There is no shame in being scared, but if you're going to abandon your job when the shit hits the fan, then you need to find another line of work.