I’ve been the wife of Bobby Warren for close to 23 years. (We will celebrate our wedding anniversary in March.) Of those years, Bobby had been a reporter or editor of a newspaper for almost 18 years. As those of you know, who read this blog, his career as a writer for a print newspaper ended in January, which you can read about here. But other than occasionally, I’ve not had an inside look at what it means to be a reporter for a daily paper. That all changed on Thursday, February 1, 2018. That was when Bobby invited me to take pictures while he and his former colleagues, Christy Pratt and Steve Huzai sat down to record a podcast.
Steve, the founder of the Hanging with Hoozy podcast, left his position at The Daily Record two weeks after Bobby. Christy left the week after that. All three would say it was just the right time to move on to other careers. Yet, they realized that they still had plenty to say about being reporters, and maybe needed a little bit of closure, so the three started talking about doing a podcast. The purpose was to reminisce about their time as fellow writers and give aspiring individuals a look behind the scenes.
That was what took us (the three reporters and two of their significant others — Christy’s fiance, Jim, and me) to the lower level of Birdeye Media. So that the three could record the podcast.
What I found most interesting is how much goes into the writing of a news story. As Christy said, “you have to become an expert” of the topic that they would be writing about. Knowing that Bobby wrote on average 10 stories a week, on a wide variety of topics, it’s no wonder that he is one of the smartest people I know. He agreed with Christy when he said for one story he had to do research for about 45 minutes just to write one sentence!
Throughout the podcast, the three kept returning to the theme of the balance they had to strike as reporters. While they all live in the communities that they covered, they explained that a lot of the times they were on the outside. They had to be to be able to cover their beats well. They shared how the best compliments they received were the ones in which people told them they were fair and could be trusted.
I enjoyed hearing about their favorite stories (or perhaps most memorable stories) they had written. Stories that ranged from traveling with veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. to covering court proceedings on murder cases to witnessing an execution. Being the pollyanna that I am, I liked hearing about the veterans more than some of the other stories. But the three didn’t seem to hold anything back. They were honest and forthcoming and it was enlightening.
When I think back on Bobby’s career as a reporter, I think of all the things that I have been able to experience because of his job. I have met some incredible people (like governors, senators, congressmen and singers — Charlie Daniels, Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan and Josh Krajcick) and been able to go places I never would have gone if I hadn’t been with Bobby (like the Honor Trip to D.C. — which you can read about here). I’ve also spent many evenings at home while he was out covering a meeting or going to a fire or an accident or a stand-off between the police and gunman or a drug raid. Some things I’ll miss; others not so much.
I could go on and on about what Bobby, Christy and Steve talked about, but then why should I, when you can just listen to the podcast yourself. Click below to hear the whole thing. I’d love for you to tell me what you found most intriguing or interesting about their conversation.