Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sometimes Life Isn't Fair

After a great weekend in which I spent Saturday with my family, Sunday was my day to chill. I drove my wife to work and went grocery shopping with my 14 year old daughter. Have you ever noticed how the groceries always cost more when you take your kid to the grocery store? I picked up two newspapers The Sun and The Star, and headed home to enjoy a good read.

Michelle Mandel presented a great story on the front page of The Sun. It took me a minute to clue in but then the story took me back 18 years. I remember it like yesterday. We were standing on the street outside a small apartment building in Parkdale. A little girl was missing. Everyone hoped she would be found any minute but that wouldn’t happen. Three year old Kayla Klaudusz would eventually be found dead in the harbour and to everyone’s shock a neighbour would be arrested for the murder. This left me stunned. It meant that while I stood outside on the sidewalk the young girl was probably just steps away. As a young freelance television cameraman, with the help of a reporter from The Star, I had gone into the family home. We went into Kayla’s bedroom. I remember her stuffed toys, her frantic mother. This story would change me forever. I wondered if the little angel had been alive when we were there. Even today it hurts my heart to think back to that time.

Through Michelle Mandel’s well written piece I now find out that Kayla’s parents eventually split up, that her dad is now struggling to make ends meet and take care of his family. It just shouldn’t be this way. I can understand why Steve Klaudusz feels bitter. It isn’t right that the killer is now looked after by the taxpayers. That the killer gets free dental and drug benefits while Steve cannot afford to take his kids to the dentist. It’s just not right.

I wish I could help. If I owned my own company and was looking for help I would step up and give the guy a break. It sounds like he needs a helping hand. As a society we should be able to help those who deserve it, those who have already went through enough in life. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

Also, in the last few months as the newspaper industry seems to crumble before my eyes, I have to wonder what will happen to our newspaper journalists. Every day we hear how papers are dying and that they are a thing of the past. I hope this is not true. Newspapers still inform me in a way that television news falls short. The depth of coverage allowed in print is something to be cherished. I am constantly reading excellent well researched local stories that obviously take a lot of time to put together. Hopefully the hunt for corporate profit will not lead to the demise of local newspapers. I’ve already seen that happen in television. I was laid off in Windsor when one of the local television stations was gutted. I have landed on my feet back here in Toronto with the CBC but many of my colleagues have not been so lucky.

I’m 21 years into my career in television. I still love chasing breaking news and shooting video as it unfolds. I turned 44 this year. Do the clocks move faster the older you get?

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