Reporting in an unprecedented time

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

For the past six months I’ve used one particular phrase repeatedly in my writing, interviews and just everyday conversation to describe 2020. This is an unprecedented time.

There is nothing really to compare it to, and it brings up a lot of questions about everyday life in 2020.

For all the times that I’ve written and used that phrase, it was only this week that I looked back and thought about what this means for me and my career as a journalist. I’ve known from the beginning this was an important time, but it was only recently that I stopped to consider my place in it all.

I have been blessed early on in my career and my education with mentors and senior reporters who have gone through those “moments.” These are the stories and points in time that stick with you not only due to their impact on you, but also the rest of world.

I’ve learned from reporters who have covered 9/11, and I’ve been taught by war reporters. A very close friend of mine was one of the reporters who covered the Oklahoma City Bombing in the mid 90s, and to this day, those events have stuck with him for better or worse.

As difficult as this job can be at times, it gives me the rare ability to capture this “moment” and point in time unlike any other profession. I am able to preserve everything that is happening in the world around us, almost like a page in a history book.

The realization that I am working in one of those “moments” that will shape the future as we know it, is an odd feeling the more I think about it. This is the time and the events that I will help capture and immortalize. It is both a responsibility and a privilege that only now is starting to weigh on me with its gravity.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.

Happy birthday Saturday to Parker Taraba of Bells; Londyn Jones of Sherman; Kara Kleinert of Whitesboro; and Julie Selby of Kingston, Okla. Happy birthday Sunday to Mildred Anderson and Kevin Harris, both of Sherman and Deb Cook of Aubrey. Happy birthday Monday to Amanda Zuerlein, Stephanie Mutz, and Donald Tucker Sr., all of Sherman; Darian Curry of Allen; and Allie Hinsley of Sadler.