As someone who’s wanted to be a journalist since middle school, I’ve never been much at keeping journals. Too much of a commitment. Who am I writing for? Myself? My biographer? My therapist?
Still, looking back it turns out I’ve accidentally kept a pretty good journal: almost 25 years worth.
When I started at WAGA in January, 1990, our newsroom secretary Jody had already handed out the calendars for the new year. So my first desk calendar came in 1991. Being the new kid in the newsroom, I tried to follow the lead of the veteran guys. One reporter used his calendar to write down the story he did each day. So I did, too. That reporter probably threw his calendar away the next year. For some reason, I did not.
I’ve kept them all. Twenty-four so far, 23 of them currently shoved behind my desk. At the end of each day I wrote the story I covered, the newscast it aired, whether I was reporting live in the field or on the set, and the name of my photographer. I also sometimes wrote down the hours I worked, even though reporters don’t get paid overtime. I like numbers.
Some of the stories I frankly do not remember at all. “Nurse Probe” sounds painful, but doesn’t ring a bell. Even “Louisville Bell Stolen” doesn’t ring a bell. Clearly I covered it. I wrote it on my calendar.
After five years as a general assignment reporter, the station moved me to the nationally-renowned investigative unit. I’ve been with the Fox 5 I-Team for 20 years now.
And I remember those stories.
There are so many more. In this digital age, seeing my poor penmanship marking the days of my career is as old school as it gets. I like old school. As I get older, I like it more. A lot more.
Our news unit manager Lily Jaramillo will soon post a signup sheet for 2015 calendars. My name will be there. After all, I’m a journalist. We’re supposed to write stuff down.