This was a sad week in the Shoalhaven in which three lives were lost. A young man died in a motor accident on Crooked River Road on Saturday evening, a boy lost his life in an ATV crash on Monday and the body of a 51-year-old man was found in puzzling circumstances in a unit in Nowra.
Hungry for the latest scrap of detail to flesh out their stories, out-of-town media tend to swarm over these stories, taking a sometimes ham fisted approach to them.
When a metropolitan daily called us to ask if we were chasing the identity of the child killed in the ATV rollover on Monday, we explained we don't do that because we are closer and more sensitive to the anguish of relatives. It is their choice to reveal identities of lost loved ones, not ours.
Likewise, we avoid speculation about the circumstances of tragedies.
When police revealed they were treating the death of the man in Nowra as "suspicious", we did not leap to conclusion it was a "murder investigation", as one news outlet did. And we did not do so when it emerged homicide squad officers were assisting the investigation.
We were vindicated in our decision to hold back on the assumption when the post mortem details informed the police there were, in fact, no grounds for suspicion over the man's death.
Our hearts go out to the families and friends dealing with these tragedies. We can't imagine the depth of their grief and certainly do not want to add to it.
We also pause to think about the effect of these sad events on the paramedics, police and firefighters who attend them.
No matter how professional these folk are, they are still human and cannot avoid being touched by what they see and hear.
As journalists, we routinely spend time alongside them. And sometimes they are there to reach out to us when what we witness becomes overwhelming.
This happened during the Kingiman fire near Milton last August. We had just interviewed helicopter pilot Allan Tull, who was waterbombing the blaze. An hour later, he was dead, killed when his chopper crashed.
At the fire control centre, police and paramedics became aware of our distress and took us aside to talk about it. Their soothing words and assurances that what we were feeling was entirely normal have stuck with us ever since. They reinforced the fact that as part of the community, local journalists need to be sensitive to its grief.