DorobekInsider: Happy (belated) Thanksgiving 2009

Friday - 11/27/2009, 2:41pm EST

Of course, many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving here in the United States — one of several times of real reflection over the next few weeks. But despite all the travel headaches, for me Thanksgiving is a fairly special time because it isn’t about gifts. It’s about… well, thanks… and family… and friends.

I have pulled together some government Thanksgiving resources, but… a DorobekInsider privilege… some of my thanks for 2009…

* Federal News Radio listeners and readers… It is one of those trite but true statements: We — and I — thanks you so much for your support. We work very hard to try and bring you news, information, insights and analysis that help people in the government market do their jobs better. And we try to make even some of the dryer issues — we often refer to them as “boring but important” issues — we try hard to present those in a more accessible way. Regardless, it is such a fascinating time to be doing this work. I started covering the business of government some 18 years ago when my now colleague TomTemin hired me as a reporter for Government Computer News — and this market has evolved so much since then. Back then, people would often say to me, ‘The government uses computers?’ Today, I don’t get that question these days. To the contrary, tech luminaries are interested in the government market. The best thing about my job is that I get to talk to exceedingly smart people each and every day. What a great gig.

* Team Federal News Radio 1500 AM… A few weeks ago, we spoke to Government Executive editor Tom Shoop on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris and he mentioned in passing when he started two decades ago, he never expected there would be a radio station focusing on government issues. I have to say that I agree. But what a wonderful creation. And what a unique creation. As I have said, my first love of journalism was through radio — in part because it is intimate. It is there when you wake up in the morning… and in the car… and in your headphones… and now, even on your computer. And while reading is absolutely essential to deep understanding of complex issues, hearing somebody talk about an issue — their own words, their intonations, there particular focus — that is something that Federal News Radio provides to this market.

And I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I have been working at Federal News Radio for a little more than a year. Federal News Radio program director Lisa Wolfe took a real chance hiring a print guy who had little radio experience — and she has taught me so much. Furthermore, Wolfe and Federal News Radio sales czar John Meyer constantly have to deal with me as I send them notes saying, ‘I have an idea..’

Federal News Radio has also assembled a group of remarkable and talented journalists. (It’s interesting because our team regularly breaks news, yet one recent tally of federal news sources failed to include among the more traditional outlets. Disappointing, but… we’re making progress.) We have a remarkable team, such as my co-anchor, Amy Morris, has really taught me so much. But above and beyond being amazing talented, Morris is really a joy to work with every day. Not only do we respect either others skills and talents, we really enjoy working together each and every day. I am alsohonred to work each and every day with Federal News Radio senior correspondent Mike Causey , who has been covering this market for more than four decades. He is a legend and I’m proud and honored to work along side him. Julia Ziegler, who has a number of jobs at Federal News Radio, is not heard on air but has a remarkable ear for radio and hastought me so much. We also have a great Daily Debrief team — Internet editor Dorthy Ramienski , who works every day to try and find innovative ways to present our information online… and also Daily Debrief producer Scott Carr… and the other people at Federal News Radio — Federal Drive anchors TomTemin and Jane Norris, Jason Miller, Max Cacas, Federal Drive producer Ruben Gomez… and the entire team.

* Those who are passionate about their jobs… One of the best things about what I get to do is deal with people who love their jobs. It is one of the great things about people who decide to focus on the government — and, in my experience, that is true in both the public and private sectors — they do what they do because they love what they do. They are passionate about the mission, whatever that may be. In general, government workers get an unfair rap — is government customer service really any worse then your credit card company? Really? In my experience, they areimpassioned about the mission facing them — and too often, they are the victims of bureaucracy, not the purveyors of it.