'Herald Journal' editor-reporter
enjoys insider's perspective, job's variety
By Whitney Schulte
May 12, 2008 | Tyler Riggs wakes up every morning
never knowing exactly what the day will bring. He might
be riding shotgun with Logan's finest, or he might be
called in to cover not one, but three fires.
Riggs works at the Logan
Herald Journal. He says that when people
find out where he works, they tend to be interested
and ask questions about his job. "Working in the
media, you learn a lot about dealing with other people
and common sense," Riggs said.
Along with his job at the newspaper, Riggs is also
working on completing a dual major in business and journalism
at Utah State University. He has his journalism classes
completed, and is enjoying the business classes because
they are so different from his "day job."
Riggs has been sticking to three classes a semester.
"While I think I could handle doing one more, that would
start to seriously interfere with some of the other
things I have going on in my life."
To add to his already heavy workload, Riggs also edits
other reporters' articles. It's not the most fun part
of the job, but someone has to do it. "Editing
other people's work can get tedious after you spend
about eight to 10 hours a week looking at words on the
computer screen," Riggs said.
If someone brings in a good idea for an article, Riggs
will sometimes assign it to one of his reporters, but
for the most part, they develop their own story ideas
on their beats.
One of the biggest perks of the job is knowing what
is going on in the community before the "normal"
citizens do. To many of the newspaper readers' surprise,
this is not due to the AP Wire Service. Riggs says most
of the news he hears through being employed at the paper
is local news. He gets most of his national news just
like anyone else does, through www.CNN.com
or some other Web page.
Riggs says that when he's reporting a story he never
goes into it with an agenda. When an issue has two sides,
you must cover both. "As long as you give everyone involved
with an issue that you're reporting on a chance to comment,
you're winning the battle, I think," he said.
Riggs also says the "Herald Journal" writes some LDS-themed
stories, because 75 percent of their readership is of
that faith. The other stories they write don't really
have a need for a religious slant.
When he goes out to do interviews, Riggs feels like
most people in the valley are pretty open with him.
"There's times when on sensitive or potentially controversial
stories, people will later say they have been misquoted,"
he says, "but it's my experience that people usually
read their words in print later and regret saying what
they have said or how they've said it." He also says
he actually finds that it is very, very rare for a reporter
to deliberately misquote someone.
A question Riggs surely hears a lot is "What
is your favorite article you've written?" His response
is somewhat surprising. "I really can't pick one
at this point, partly because I may not have written
it yet, and partly because I've written so many,"
he says, "In the past six years that I've worked
at either the Statesman or the Herald Journal,
I've written well over 1,500 articles."
Back when Riggs started on the first of those 1,500
plus articles, he would open up the paper every morning
to check which stories he had written in the day's edition,
and look at his byline. However, he says he doesn't
really do that anymore. Riggs says, "The one time it's
kind of neat is when there's a really big story and
you work hard to make sure every detail is handled properly,
and then you get to look at it the next day."
And one last interesting tidbit about Riggs: he thinks
a lot of television news personalities are fake. But,
Tyler is a big fan of Bill Maher. "He generally says
what he believes and doesn't put up with B.S. from anyone,"