Tribute to Derrik Thomas for 40 years of excellence in journalism

Tribute to Derrik Thomas for 40 years of excellence in journalism



the most important thing that I think any of us who have been reporters or anchors is that we have one thing above all else that's the most important and that's credibility you earn credibility you can't make it up it takes time and there's something in us beyond that fire in our belly that awareness of what's going on understanding something about a story that nobody else is picking up on and when you can parlay that credibility into your stories then I believe you are a dare toss you are at the top of your game and that's what Derek has been we're gonna miss him at the top of his game and we are going to miss him tonight on our TV 6r Rafael Sanchez joins us as we continue our celebration of excellence in journalism what a career isn't that something Marquez you know today our colleague Derrick Thomas is signing off after more than 40 years two months and 15 days that on this 15th day it was also full of excellence so right now let's take a look at Derek's distinguished career which began right here on RTV 6 on April the 3rd 1979 as a newsman I get a unique opportunity to see both the best and the worst in the world Derrick Thomas tells it like it is give us jobs or we'll be pulling jobs a storyteller with curiosity for information passionate about informing others I have done about 12,000 stories in that 40 years I just feel when you have put together that body of work and getting a chance to go the places that are God and weep the people that I've met tell their stories you just reflect to say I must have been doing some things right the completion date is still scheduled for July 1984 over 40 years he's breathed life into a kaleidoscope of words and that's the way the ball bounces and they're gonna get the gas while the getting is good and the words of Porky Pig pets all folks this is a story about a trampoline and a missing fence showcasing all the shades of the human spirit whether in times of pain perseverance or in the pursuit of happiness he's always asking questions 52 this is the only way of the trendy hey gentlemen supposed to ask your age leaving a reporting job in Minneapolis Derrick began his career at rtv6 in 1979 Derrick Thomas for the news I haven't said that in over 25 years but rarely does a day go by that somebody doesn't say to me for the news Derrick Thomas Derrick Thomas wanna use channel 6 his collection of stories is wide ranging from interviewing Michael Jackson in 1979 how does it feel to be back in Indiana that's wonderful this is a home to this story in 1981 involving the plight of Vietnam veterans looking for work in Indianapolis his profile of the men let the results after I air this story people call the station and they said that they would give this gentleman shuffle they gave him a job I told him about that and he was so grateful and I felt that putting this story out on the airwaves is what we should do as journalists in 2015 Derek told the story of doors of Martin who died while attempting to clear a drainage ditch in Pittsboro Doris loved to bake and Derek provided his tender touch to capture the essence of a woman admired by many Martin made the best cinnamon rolls on earth and often shared them with students at school we now know what will be on the menu in heaven Derrick Thomas rtv6 it's his calm cadence and cool character that draws praise from the public and his co-workers past and present Derek would always take the newspaper to lunch and even if you were with him and he would read the newspaper and I used to just bust him all the time for that about Derek really he's funny he's he's so smart so I say he works with Derrick Thomas professionals above all else professional the life of him I don't think ever in this city and then it was over the TP restaurant a bridge with the pass now a bridge over troubled waters the decades rolled on with change being a constant but Derrick Thomas remains consistent he's always been a man of his word many words some big some small each carefully measured each multifaceted like the man who brought them to life so I thank you for being you and I thank you for being in our newsroom Derrick Thomas joins us again he almost heard weather at the moments ago his closing thoughts on this bittersweet day in which he marks such a milestone there it's been a wonderful ride here at channel 6 please don't had the opportunity to be here if it wasn't for Dave garlic a photographer who had my story on his tape I might not be here a bit might be in Milwaukee they offered me a job but I was just about to accept it so I'm excited about that I'm glad you didn't go to the walk-in let you stay professor for the years 2 months and 15 days and I'm sure many of the people in this community are glad that you stayed here making a difference and teaching young ones who wanted to enter this profession to our newest reporter Cameron riddle who's here in studio with us as he used to watch you inspiring words for those young ones that might want to follow your footsteps I've seen him since he was I saw first when he was about 16 15 or 16 years old I knew he would be here one day I just say this and you know this that's what's great when you announce your timer and in advance we get to make sure that you're aware of your contributions but you have the respect of your co-workers you have the respect of your peers in all of Indianapolis and I think you have the respect of the TV industry around the country and so what you did to work 40 years plus is a remarkable achievement in our business very humbling and you showed us that words matter and you brought those words to life and we talked to people they felt your essence and you shared their spirit so we want to thank you again for being an amazing storyteller your legacy will live on get our TV six their last words but you closed it out with all due respect to my bosses I never work for them I work for you the viewer I respected you I trusted you and I did my best for you it's great thank you God

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