A few years ago, while I was in college I had the opportunity to intern with a very talented young man by the name of Wesley Lowery. He attended Ohio University.
We lost touch as the years went on, but I have always followed him on social media. I noticed that he recently started working for the Boston Globe. Wesley is in his early 20’s and reported on the Boston Bombing.
I decided to reach out to him and ask him about what it was like to report on the bombing as a twenty-something.
1. How long have you been a reporter for the Boston Globe, and how did you find this opportunity? I joined the staff of the Boston Globe in mid-March. Previously, I worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. I ended up in Boston in large part due to an internship that I had at the Globe after I finished school. I stayed in touch with the editors at the Globe and they reached out when a political reporting position opened.
2. How has reporting on this event impacted you personally?Personally, the last week was a whirlwind. Covering the initial bombing was a bit traumatizing. For people who’ve never lived in Boston, it’s hard to understand just how big of a deal Marathon Monday is. Thousands of people are off work and crammed around the finish line. To see something so beloved terrorized was really hard. Next came days of tracking down and talking to victims and their families, which is always a little hard. Finally, the last few days where a pure adrenaline rush. I was out in the field for the MIT shooting, as well as for the Watertown shootout.
3. What has been the hardest part about reporting on this event?
The first few days were, without a doubt, the hardest. At that point, I was still struggling to even comprehend the scope and severity of what happened. Moments after the bombs went off, I was en route to the newsroom and then to one of the local hospitals. There wasn’t much time to stop and think about how the bombing was impacting was me personally, it was go-go-go.
4. Is this the first time you have ever reported on an event this tragic?
This is easily the most tragic event I’ve ever reported on. The only things, in America, I can think of to this scale in recent years are 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and I was in 6th and 9th grade when those happened. While in LA, I helped cover the Christopher Dorner manhunt, but even that pales in comparison to this.
5. On the day of the bombing how many hours did you work?
Monday, the day of the bombing, was actually my day off (I work a Tuesday-Saturday schedule). I first saw the news from Reuters, and I immediately called the office and told them I was on my way in. That was around 3pm, and I ended up at Tufts Medical Center until about 12:30 a.m.
6. What surprised you the most about reporting on an event like this?
This didn’t exactly surprise me, but I was absolutely struck by how naturally and professionally all of my colleagues sprung into action. There were no stars of our coverage, every single person contributed and turned out amazing work. In a field like newspaper journalism – which is constantly changing and if often uncertain – it’s great to be reminded of just how remarkable your colleagues are.
Interviewing Wesley allowed me to see how hard it can be to be a reporter during a tragedy. He covered the event with courage and true professionalism.
As a runner and former reporter, this tragedy really breaks my heart.
If you want to follow Wesley and his work you can check him out on Twitter at: Wesley Lowrey or on Instagram at: WesleyLowery