Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Archive for March 27th, 2011

DorobekINSIDER: Good-bye to Federal News Radio

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As I mentioned, Friday was my last day on the air at Federal News Radio. 

Here are my final thoughts…

Radio microphoneChange is never easy. We do almost anything to avoid it. But these days, change is almost the norm. 

And today represents a change for me. I’m moving on.

For the past three years, we’ve been able to spend the afternoons together here on this magical medium called radio. A lot has happened during that time. No, budgets never got passed… And yes, there were government shutdowns — but they were thanks to snowstorms rather then any budget battle.

When I came here three years ago, Federal News Radio was JUST moving to a new frequency — 1500 AM. And at that time, Federal News Radio was building it’s platform. The management team here made a key decision to hire a number of people who have deep roots covering government — Mike Causey, of course, Tom Temin, Jason Miller… and me. When I came here, I had never produced a radio show before. So my goals were to learn as much as I possibly could… but also to help make Federal News Radio a presence. And I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. The station is vital source of news and information for the federal government here in Washington.

One of the great things about this radio station is that it is so innovative. It is the first radio station to move from the dot-com world… to a frequency. Ten years ago, Jim Farley, John Meyer and Joel Oxley decided to create a Web radio station for feds. And look what has come of it. And in many ways, I think it is a model for the evolution of media.

All of that being said, it is time for me to move on. Now let me be very clear — I’m not disappearing. I may not be here in the afternoons, but I’m not done. I’ve been thrilled to cover the government for nearly 20 years, and I think I have a few more years left. And, in fact, that is part of the reason that it is time for me to move on. On this program, each and every day, we have tried to keep our focus on six words — helping you do your job better. (Yes — it’s six! I counted!) And we have tried to focus on innovation, lessons learned, better-faster-cheaper…

And I’m going to continue doing that… Again, in a different way.

A number of people to thank…

  • Federal News Radio program director Lisa Wolfe, who gave a print guy with no experience in radio, an opportunity to fulfil a dream.
  • Mike Causey, who invented covering the operations of government. All of us walk in his footsteps. He is a remarkable journalist — and a good friend.
  • My colleagues Amy Morris, Francis Rose… and my producers Emily Jarvis, Ruben Gomez, and Internet editor Jolie Lee… what can I say but thanks.
  • And to my spouse and amazing family. When you’re trying something new, you need good, you need a great support structure… and I’m blessed.

But most of all, I want to thank you… for listening… for reading… for participating… for doing what you do.

These are odd times… challenging times. There are pay freezes and continuing resolutions… and yes, therea are still no budgets approved.

Many people out there think you’re overpaid… under-qualified… under worked… Many people out that the government isn’t innovative.

We know that isn’t true — and on this program, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to the creators of the Internet. (Most organizations would be thrilled creating something as all-altering as the Internet.)

We know there is good — and bad — in government. But there is no doubt in my mind that accomplishing the mission of government is exceedingly challenging… and, in many ways, much more challenging then most jobs the private sector.

And I wake up each day thrilled because Ihave the best job on the planet. I have an amazing opportunity to talk to smart people — in most cases, very spart people — each day. And I get to help you do your job better.

And I get to do that for people who have actually done this work … People who know how complex it is… how really difficult it is. They don’t worry about whether it is like the private sector or not. They understand the very real differences… and quietly they understand that their jobs are MUCH more challenging. But they are passionate about getting that job done.

I continue to believe these are remarkable times… And yes, times to make real change. These days, everything is on the table. That can be scary — but it also presents real opportunities.

So… Go do it. Be innovative. Try. Make mistakes even. And if there is anything I can do to help you… let me know… I’m easy to find…

Thanks for hanging with me. I hope we can continue to spend time together, albeit in a different way.

Written by cdorobek

March 27, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Posted in Federal News Radio