It can take a while to find your way back into normalcy. And when bad things happen, like what happened to João this weekend, you reflect more on what you do. It’s not easy, and a lot of people have different ways to manage this change of pace and this change of environment. I think it’s important to have a life outside of what you do, to have friends and to have family, a support network around you to make it smoother and easier.

Does an incident like João’s make you reconsider your line of work?

I don’t know that reconsider is the right word; it’s more of a reality check. People who do what we do or spend enough time working on these subjects have a passion for what we do. We think it’s important. But when something like this happens there are many questions that go through your mind. You try to reconcile that sense of loyalty to a story—the reason you got into the business in the first place. You have to keep focused and continue to do your job. I still feel strongly that it’s very important to have independent journalism, especially from conflict zones.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.