This afternoon, two recently retired journalists will be honored with a
small ceremony in The Gazette’s newsroom.
I want to share some of my thoughts on these two journalists here, as I would like these thoughts to be heard beyond The Gazette’s walls.
Rod Boshart and James Lynch for many years were staples as The
Gazette’s state and federal government and politics reporters. And you won’t
find two finer political journalists or people anywhere, much less working
together at the same media organization for so long.
I knew Rod and James a little bit from my work on the beat at the
Telegraph Herald from 2012 to 2014. But I really got to know them well starting
in the fall of 2014, when I was hired as Lee Enterprises’ Des Moines Bureau
Chief. The Lee papers and The Gazette share state and federal government and
politics coverage, so those three positions — The Gazette’s duo and Lee’s bureau
chief — work in unison as one de facto bureau.
What a privilege it was to work in tandem with Rod and James for
those seven-plus years. I wouldn’t trade one second of it for anything, and I
am eternally grateful for every single moment.
I could write a month’s worth of daily newsletters and not run out
of words of praise for and thanks to Rod and James. I learned so much just by
watching them work and listening to them interview politicians. I picked their
brains constantly, and every time they offered helpful thoughts or
insight. For more than seven years, they were my professional north star.
Dogged journalists. Fair reporters. Generous colleagues. Funny
Rod retired at the end of last year; James retired earlier this
month after Iowa’s primary election.
I miss working with them every day. And I will continue to, probably until the
day I retire myself. As is so often the case, I think of things through the
lens of sports, and this feels like when you’re part of a really great,
close-knit team, and then that team breaks up.
Rod and James have without even a shred of doubt earned their
retirements. I hope they’re enjoying the heck out of their free time, not being
shackled to the Iowa Capitol for the first four or five months of every year;
not chasing dozens of White House wannabes all over the state for a full year;
not sitting through protracted legislative debates or daylong conventions; not
sweating out that ever-looming deadline.
It will be so wonderful to see them again today, for all three of
us to be in the same room again.
And when it’s over, when the last drink is finished and the last
farewell spoken, for me, it will be back to work.
I have a new bureau teammate now at The Gazette: Tom Barton. I think the world of Tom as a
journalist, and I am genuinely excited to work with him.
And very soon Caleb McCullough, a fine young reporter, will become
Lee Enterprises’ new Des Moines Bureau Chief. The Gazette-Lee bureau will be
fully staffed again, just in time for the 2022 general election campaign.
I’ll do my absolute best to continue to provide Gazette readers
with the politics and government coverage they have come to expect for decades
before I arrived here. I’ll work hard every day to inform readers and hold
political candidates and elected officials to account.
I’ll do all of that if for no other reason than it would be the best “Thank you” to Rod Boshart
and James Lynch that I can give.