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The Rookie

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They had been threatening to do it for a while. I'd look at them, knowing smiles plastered on their faces, and shake my head.

"We're going to get you on the radio," my colleagues said.

"No, you're not," I'd reply, less-than-confidently.

I knew it was only a matter of time. I work in a radio station newsroom, after all.

I've always been comfortable behind the scenes. While I've done my share of field work, I'm better at production and encouraging reporters. My aptitude for technology led me to desk jobs in online journalism. No burning desire to see my byline or hear my outcue each day.

But I am still a journalist, and I know a good story when I see it. So when internet company GoDaddy went down, I knew it was big.

"Are we talking hundreds of websites? Thousands?" our managing editor asked.

"Millions. Tens of millions," I said. GoDaddy is a local business for us, and they have more than 5 million web hosting accounts and 53 million domain registrations.

As the resident techie I was in the best position to report and write this story. So I did, assuming someone else would read it on the air. I found an expert, conducted one of my first phone interviews and prepared to hand it over for the 4:30 p.m. newscast.

"Why doesn't Tracy just do it live at 4:30?" someone suggested at 4:23 p.m. Uh, what? Those same knowing smiles were back.

It wasn't my first time in front of a microphone -- I'd done some color commentary for baseball games in college, and a smattering of video work -- but it felt like putting on roller skates again after a 15-year break. I tripped up twice on the air.

Live radio is hard. Reporting for radio is hard -- my inner print reporter felt so guilty, whittling down a great eight-minute expert interview into a 45-second clip.

I have a newfound respect for my colleagues who do it every day and make it sound so effortless.