Good Morning: Writing the first draft of history

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

I've said this more than once, and I doubt this will be the last time I say it: one of the benefits of my job is that it gives me a front row seat to major events that shape the world around me. 

Unlike in any other job, I am given access to see, sometimes first hand, the actions and decisions that will help lead and direct the communities and groups that I cover. Sometimes, it helps to get a reminder of the blessing and responsibility that I have been given as the city reporter for the Herald Democrat.

I had one of those moments this week while working on what could be one of Sherman's biggest stories of the year, if not even longer. The announcement of a possible billion dollar investment by Texas Instruments in a new production facility is one of those stories that will impact almost everything in the community, and I had the opportunity to be one of the first people to write about it.

As I was talking with a source about the possible plant, he said something to me that struck me hard and made me stop my work in its tracks. He said that my work on this story is effectively writing the first draft of history.

It's wasn't a sudden realization about the power of journalism. The work of other journalists often becomes one of the first pieces of recorded history and can survive the test of time.

I've known this through much of my career, however, it is different when I think about it in relation to myself. It's one thing to apply it to the work of others, but it gains a certain weight when you look internally and apply it to yourself.

I was left with both a feeling of gravity and humility about the work I do in presenting the story of the day, and the history of the community I serve.

The words I write can and will be remembered when people think about on the moments in history that I've covered, be it the opening of Sherman High School, or the expansion of TI's operations in Sherman. Only time will tell which stories end up  entire chapters in the history books, but I have a responsibility to write and respect them all the same.