Before we moved to Denver – in fact, before I married L, I was a political reporter in Los Angeles. I covered local government meetings, but also did some investigative reporting on social issues in L.A.. There were about a dozen of us reporters covering the City and County. Out of that dozen, two of us were women. Oh, those were the days when the stereotypical reporter wore a green eyeshade and smoked cigars. M and I stood out in this crowd, and it was something I was used to from Journalism School and also my first job.Women reporters were the exception;not the rule.
But the focus of this post is the “scoop” and how I seemed to beat my male colleagues to news stories before they filtered down as press releases to the press room. Often I reported a story (inconsequential as it might be) before my colleagues had a chance to read a release and type it up (those were the days of Remington, Underwood and Smith-Corona). Apple was still a gleam in the two Steves’ eyes.
In media terms, the first reported story is known as a “scoop” and my male colleagues and even M wondered how often I seemed to scoop them.
Back then, I put my skills down to “luck” or “a hunch”, but now I see it was prescience or clairvoyance that led me to figure out news about to break. Not always, though, The skill was not fool-proof and I would have been a fool to think it was. But I scored enough “scoops” to put me ahead of the press pack and to earn me notoriety as a very good “woman reporter”. This was no small feat at a time when female reporters were mainly thought of as fluffy feature writers about food and fashion.
For my efforts, on an investigative three-part series on unfair treatment in the jails, I received an award, with a plaque and a photo, from a County Supervisor and a letter of commendation from a federal commission.
I think back about this now, and the incredible rush I felt when I learned my bylined story made an impact on an injustice and caused a change.
.Posting now as another example of how the Sixth Sense can help right a wrong -protect – – enlighten even when you’re unaware it’s working.