For the past several weeks the world has been under quarantine and we, who are self-isolating are the lucky ones. The people who are out on the front lines are faced with the challenge of choosing between competing loyalties every time they leave the house and again when they return. By choosing to leave they may end up infected, thus they must choose between risking their own well-being to serve the good of their community or staying home. Upon return, they must choose between the risk of bringing infection home, or stay away from home – foregoing the so-needed love and support of their families in order to keep them safe. We who are at home, for the most part, understand and are grateful.
A less obvious group that are faced with similar risks are the journalists who don face shields and masks to venture into the danger every day to help the rest of us make sense of what’s happening. There is a long, respected tradition which continues today of journalists who go towards risk and tragedy to shine a light. These men and women use their words and stories to present complex issues to their readers in an understandable format. Here’s to those who take these risks to investigate and present us with the information for which we hunger.
My book Torn Asunder is set in Ireland, opening in 1916 and follows a young man who becomes a journalist. Emmet Ryan wants to raise his family in a free and united Ireland, but when his words inspire in ways he never intended, he risks the lives of those he loves most.