A night for Toni

Last night was the one-year vigil for the death of NIU student Antinette ‘Toni’ Keller. Hard to believe its been a year already. Hard to believe it has only been a year.

About 50 people gathered by the East Lagoon on campus and lit water lanterns, which resembled sunflowers.

Fitting tribute, really.

A few things really bothered me as a media member though. First was the “professionals,” mainly the television photographers, who kept stepping right in front of my shot after I was in position well before them.

Completely annoying. Lucky I got what I did from this to be honest.

The other was more surprising, which was how stand-offish many of the attendees were. Some were very nice but others were very short, almost to the point of rude.

I try, as always, to approach them with a sense of empathy and understanding. Just being polite, really.

I’m not sure why there was a stand-off nature toward media. I understand it isn’t easy for anyone but at the same time, you probably should have been prepared for media to be there.

After reporting many times on the Feb. 14 shootings at NIU and those tributes and memorials, I must have become accustomed to people being friendly to the media. Not once in the shooting things did I ever come across someone who wasn’t happy to at least give a name.

To each is own, I guess. I’ll chalk this up to another learning experience on a few different ends. Hopefully I won’t have to do anything like this again until February.

For a full gallery, visit the Northern Star website.

© 2011 Jerry Burnes/Northern Star


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