US & Canada

Live the story: Laura Trevelyan on reporting in the field

Laura Trevelyan at her desk in Washington DC 21 March 2013

What is it like to "live the story" during a major news event? To help bring the viewer closer to the heart of BBC News reporting we are holding a series of special Q&A sessions on Twitter with our global correspondents.

Five months ago Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean and up the US East Coast. The BBC's Laura Trevelyan reported from the ground on the trail of destruction it left in its wake.

Laura answered your questions in a live Twitter chat on Thursday.

This is an edited version of the session:

Laura tweets: We are ready to go with today's live #Twitter Q&A. Join the conversation by using #AskBBCLaura

A G+ follower asks: How do you prepare yourself mentally/emotionally for reporting on tragic stories like Newton, Sandy, or Haiti?

Laura answers: Good question. Try to focus on the job in hand, stay professional - and afterwards reflect on what the emotional toll may be.

Twitter user @bestdogadvice asks: The question everyone wants to know, what is it like reporting in the middle of a hurricane?

Laura answers: Windy, noisy, wet, alarming when your vehicle starts to rock because of the high winds. Trees bent over backwards, high waves

A G+ follower asks: What story has affected you the most in your career?

Laura answers: Covering the cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010, soon after the earthquake there - desperately sad to see people dying from

Laura answers: (cont.) what is a treatable illness. So hard when a sick mother asked me to take her baby daughter. Thought abt that fr months

Twitter user @thomasengrav asks: Do you get a thrill reporting from a major event like Sandy? They more interesting/fun to report from?

Laura answers: There's always adrenaline on a big story, pressure to be right, hit correct tone, file on time for top bulletins - & be safe

A Facebook follower asks: What is your greatest fear (covering a live news event)?

Laura answers: In bad weather worry about whether satellite link will work so viewers can see, sometimes can't hear director in London

A G+ follower asks: Did you piss someone off at the office to be assigned outside during a hurricane?

Laura answers: What a punishment that would be! in fact, covering high profile stories is something we reporters all want to do

Twitter user @darthaaron asks: Have you ever refused to cover a major news story?

Laura answers: No - but with three kids sometimes logistics overwhelm me. Rule is can't have me, husband and kids on 3 different continents

A Facebook follower asks: What else would you want to cover in your professional career?

Laura answers: The next big story in the Americas! looking forward to going back to Haiti this June, see how post quake rebuilding is going

Twitter user @TheIntDC asks: How do you manage work life balance since you and your husband both work in the news industry?

Laura answers: An ongoing project! Wish I had the ultimate answer, though key is to have reliable child care and understanding spouse

A G+ user asks: Is there any personal line or moral line for you when you report an event?

Laura answers: To strike the right balance between getting the story while respecting the privacy of those who don't want to speak

Twitter user @newjessey asks: What news would you like to cover in Africa?

Laura answers: When covering the UN went to the DRC, Sudan, Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana - would be fascinating to see what's changed

A G+ follower asks about reporting outside during Sandy: Why would you put yourself in such risk?

Laura answers: It's a controlled risk - we stopped broadcasting when it was too windy, left Atlantic City before Sandy made landfall

Twitter user @AJDomer asks: What is the most fun story you've ever covered? Or the one you've learned the most from?

Laura answers: Most fun - Lou Schlamowitz in his NYC apt surrounded with his collection of letters to Presidents and Kings worldwide

Laura answers: (cont) Learned most - from covering resilience and fortitude of Haitians faced with tremendous adversity

A G+ follower asks: How do you not take the emotional baggage home when covering a tragedy?

Laura answers: I don't think you can avoid it - always talk things through with family/colleagues/friends - find that is the best therapy

Laura tweets: Thank you for joining me for today's Live The Story live Q&A. I hope to see all of you here on Twitter soon

For more tweets from Laura Trevelyan you can follower her Twitter account: @LauraTrevelyan

Produced by Glenn Osten Anderson