But if “diverse” reporters help newsrooms do better journalism, are newsrooms doing enough to make sure someone like Trymaine has the support and backup he needs to not burn out or even break down in the process? We ask journalists to keep some critical, dispassionate distance from their stories. But what happens when the stories they’re covering are not abstractions, not just things that happen to other people? What happens when echoes of those stories keep sounding off in their own lives?
I was left with that question when Trymaine and I wrapped up our conversation and headed to lunch. I looked at my phone and realized that in the short time we’d been talking on the bench, the hashtag #ChristianTaylor had been trending on Twitter, named for a black college football player shot and killed by police in Arlington, Texas.