Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good news for the Freep

I don't watch a lot of local TV news, so I was disappointed when M.L. Elrick left the Free Press to report for WDIV in January 2006. Elrick's and Jim Schaefer's exposés on Kwame Kilpatrick during his first term were some of the best Detroit investigative pieces in recent memory. So I was glad to see his byline start appearing in the Freep again last Sunday.

If you're curious about what's going on, here's what Elrick told me in an e-mail yesterday:

Two years ago WDIV contacted me with an intriguing opportunity. After many discussions with the news director, I made the very difficult decision to leave the free press to join the station as an investigative reporter. As much as I loved the free press, I was looking for a new challenge. And, boy, did I get it! The thing about TV is that the stuff you think will be easy is hard. And then there’s the stuff you didn’t even know about, which can be even harder! With some help from colleagues and friends, I knuckled down and tried to be the best television reporter I could be. By the time I left, I wasn’t the best, but I felt like I did OK. I won two Michigan Emmys and gained the respect of my colleagues. And that feeling is mutual. It wasn’t until I joined WDIV that I learned just how hard television reporters and photographers work. When it comes to getting daily news done, they may be the hardest working people in journalism. At the free press I look forward to using my energies to tackle challenging stories as well as help the paper improve its video journalism (which is already pretty good!). And I hope to do work that will honor the example set by Neal Shine, whose passing really made me miss being a newspaperman so much I began actively exploring a return to print.

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