In my work as a reporter, there are some stories that just stick with you and you remember every detail about where you were when the news broke. One of the first stories I wrote that gave me that feeling just hit its four-year anniversary.
It was on Sept. 18, 2015 that news on TAPS Public Transit’s financial issues first came to public light. Despite so much time passing, I can still remember the day just like it was a few days ago.
I received the news on a Friday following a long week dedicated to other stories.
I was preparing my breakfast when I heard my phone beep several times in quick succession from what I knew would be a long text.
Breakfast would have to wait.
I felt like I hit the ground running when I entered the newsroom that day. For the better part of the morning and afternoon, it was a near-endless stream of conversations, including an in-person interview after hours with county officials.
For the remainder of 2015, and the beginning of 2016, TAPS remained as the story I focused my attention on, and there was hardly a week I did not have multiple stories on it.
I can remember sending my editor’s text messages when officials announced that TAPS would temporarily suspend service in January 2016 and reroute calls to neighboring agencies in order to restructure itself.
To this day, my editors have described me as the technical writer on our news team due to my ability to take complicated topics and numbers stories and explain them in simple terms. I think this trait was what helped me get through those stories.
That complexity is what made print and newspaper journalism the best medium to tell the story. The story was a long and winding journey that took months, if not more than a year, to tell and the long-form writing. Herald Democrat gave me the time and space to tell the story.
And it is this quality that I think makes this industry as vital as ever. Even as the industry changes, and we prepare to change our delivery and print schedules, we will continue to deliver that — news that matters while explaining what makes it important for us all and our community.
We thank our subscribers for being with us on these journeys.
Happy birthday to Joel Fitzsimmons, Lerorntyne Patterson and Richard Colbert, all from Sherman; Tina Lawler of Whitesboro.