Cadiz Record reporter visits eighth-grade classes
by Hawkins Teague
May 21, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, the Trigg County Middle School eighth-grade class learned a lot about their careers of choice, as well as those they might not choose. On May 16, many of them went to local businesses and shadowed a professional for a day. Two days before that, they heard from speakers during class, which included Cadiz Record reporter Alan Reed.

Reed, 33, spoke to each of Brandy Woodall’s English classes about the life of a smalltown reporter. He told them that when he had been living in Tampa, Fla., he hadn’t had much direction in life and thought he needed a change. He said he had a supportive family and that his aunt in Paducah had suggested using his love of writing to apply for a job at The Cadiz Record. He said that the editor, Vyron Mitchell, had taken a pretty big risk on him.

“He was a bit hesitant, sight unseen, with me 800 miles away, and I’m sure the Yankee accent didn’t help,” Reed said.

Reed said, though, that he had wanted to prove himself, so he asked for an assignment. After attending a local city council meeting, he wrote the story as quickly as he could and sent it to Mitchell the next day. He said that after two weeks, he called and found out that he was hired.

Reed said that he liked living in Trigg County and that there are many advantages to working at a weekly newspaper in a small town.

“For one thing, you know who does what and who to call when you need help,” he said.

Reed mentioned the various types of news that reporters cover, including all their regularly scheduled meetings, which typically fall under the category of “hard news.” He said that features were a little looser in style and usually weren’t as timely. There is also “spot news,” which are unplanned events like car accidents.

Reed said he enjoyed the freedom of working at a small paper, and that it allows him a lot of latitude on what kinds of stories he could cover. He said it was a good job for anyone that was curious about the world because it allowed one to learn about all sorts of new things. For example, if he were to read an article about butterflies dying off in massive numbers, he might be able to call someone local who collects butterflies and ask them about it.

“If you have a curious mind, that’s good for you,” he said.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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