How one journalist’s extra effort helped save a life

A journalist will cover hundreds of stories across his or her career. You forget more than you remember, but you’ll always recall the times you had the rare opportunity to see the impact of your work play out.

That happened earlier this year with KTAL Digital Executive Producer Carolyn Roy. On a Sunday night when she wasn’t on the clock, an email dropped in her inbox about a missing 89-year-old man with dementia. It would’ve been easy to look past the email or say “I’ll get that tomorrow.” Instead, she acted. She wanted to help.

How do we know she made a difference? Captain Tony Moran of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office took the time to write a letter to the station to thank them for Carolyn’s dedication. Here’s part of the note:

It was late and on a Sunday evening, only Carolyn Roy with your station and Brooke Buford with KALB Alexandria at the time confirmed our email and broadcasted our missing person report online via/social media and website.

Based on law enforcement, social media and news media reports, Mr. Honeycutt was found safe in Florien, La. approximately 30 miles from home on a cold night by the Florien Police Chief and family at approximately 10:18pm.  He returned home safely with family.

This brief letter is to thank KTAL and Carolyn Roy for your commitment and promise to be the public’s “Source for Local News that Matter”.

I have worked with Miss Roy on numerous occasions in the past while she worked with other media outlets and she has always been consistent, caring, professional and dedicated to reporting journalism fairly and accurately.

Again we wanted to express our thanks along with the family of Mr. Honeycutt to KTAL News 6 and Carolyn Roy for your willingness to assist our agency when needed.

Captain Tony Moran, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office

Boy, I can’t think of a greater compliment.

To Carolyn, it was likely a small act. It was something she’s probably done hundreds of times in her 20 years serving audiences in the Shreveport area.

To the Honeycutt family, her actions couldn’t have been any bigger.

When I speak to groups of journalists, I often talk about getting stuck in the grind. When you’re busy with the day-to-day stuff, you often don’t take the time to step back and see the impact of the work you’re doing. Every once in awhile, something happens that reminds you of that.

I like to use the phrase “this is why.” They’re reminders of why you chose this profession.

Thanks to Carolyn for reminding us about the importance of what we do; our why — and a special thanks for your standout dedication.

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