Meet your IPC: Jamie Grey

What’s the best story you have ever covered?                 An EF-5 tornado hit the town of Parkersburg, Iowa in 2008. Debris flew more than 100 miles to my part of our viewing area, and viewers were calling me finding all kinds of things from wedding dresses to newspapers to photos.  I was able to personally reunite a photo with its owners in Parkersburg. Nothing has compared to that moment.  They had been hurt in the storm, their house was leveled, and this one tiny senior photo meant the world to them.   The moments people allow us to share with them can be so incredible and humbling.

What’s the one story you wish you had a little more time to work on?                  I look at almost every story the next day and think of something I’d have done differently with just a little more time.

Now you are an investigative reporter at KTVB. How is this job different from what you were doing before?     There is more time to work on stories; a lot of that time is just looking for the stories or seeing if tips are going to end up being a story.  It also involves a lot more file folders on my desk.  There was recently a document avalanche that almost took out a producer.

What are three tips you would give to a new TV reporter covering his or her first investigative piece?    I’m definitely always learning, but these are some things I’m trying to work on myself:

Watch the work of the best in the field.  I particularly like work by the KING5 team and by NBC Bay Area Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski.

Figure out what the point of the story is.  What are you trying to tell people?  It’s usually one sentence and helps cut the clutter.

Do be careful, but don’t be afraid.  If you’ve done your research, have the documentation and facts together, and are accurate, then you’ve done things right.

Often, investigative pieces do require more time — both to report and to explain to the viewer. How do you manage to get your story across in limited time?     I try to just pick the best.  Usually there are hours of tape for a story that’s just a few minutes long, but only the very best video, most compelling soundbites and most important facts can go in.  Writing a web version of my stories is a huge plus.    I can put in lots of extra information, links, quotes, etc. for people who want to learn more.

What is your favorite part of living in Boise?      Tough question… but after moving here from northeast Iowa, I will say the mild weather.  It’s been nice to not wear snow pants to work for three months out of the year.  Also, my family is here, so that’s another favorite.

Why did you decide to join Idaho Press Club board?     I wanted to be a part of a group that helps Idaho media get more training, a voice in the legislature, and recognition for great work.

What have you learned since serving on the board?    The Idaho Press Club does more behind the scenes than I realized.  I’ve particularly learned a lot being on the First Amendment Committee. The committee works with lobbyists to monitor legislation and make sure journalists are getting access to the public records we need to tell our stories and keep the public informed.  It’s great to be a part of that effort to make sure every bill that could potentially close off access to journalists is considered, and the reporters of the state are represented at the Statehouse.

Interviewed by Melissa McGrath