There is a lot of criticism of the 'mainstream media' nowadays, more of it is justified than any of us should be comfortable with. The Rupert Murdoch scandal is an extreme indication of how modern day journalism has devolved.
But there are still really good reporters out there. Over the years I have been privileged to know several. One of them is retiring and for all of those who have watched and known him throughout the years it is bittersweet.
Gary Reaves has been one of the best television reporters in Dallas for nearly 30 years. I have had the good fortune to have been interviewed by him (some of those interviews never made it on the air) and to get to interact with him at news events as well as run into him in the course of our everyday lives.
As a journalist and as a human being, Gary is kind, polite, personable and professional. He has a wonderful sense of humor and he is a great, great story teller. Whether he is standing out in a blizzard, telling a human interest story, or trying to get at the heart of some tragedy, you could count on maximum information and minimal hype. It would be hyperbole to suggest that Gary and I are friends, but he has always treated me with respect and, I, in turn have always been a great admirer of his.
His leaving Dallas' ABC affiliate WFAA Channel 8 is bittersweet because you always want to celebrate the career of good people. But we also know that good journalist who care about more than 'exclusives' are rare nowadays. As I said, I've gotten to know several journalists down through the years, both in print, radio and television. When Gary has been on the air and I've been with friends or family, I've always taken great pride in being able to say, 'I know him'. And he has never made me sorry I've said that.
Congratulations Gary! Thanks for telling stories in our city that have made us all proud!