Rachel Trotter is a busy lady. As one of our most active correspondents, she provides coverage of two cities, Roy and North Ogden, and also helps out with feature and news coverage from Ogden and Weber school districts.
She's also the mother of six kids, ages 1 to 17.
It's not unusual for editors to open their email in the morning and find stories that Rachel filed well after midnight.
"I have to wait (to write) until I can clear my head and the house is quiet," Rachel explains. "I've always been a night person. That's when I can do my best work. It's quiet, no interruptions or phone calls. It's the time I like to work best."
In one way, Rachel's journalism work almost didn't happen.
An Ogden native and graduate of Ogden HIgh School, she was a communications major at Weber State, with an emphasis on public relations, when she was required to take a journalism class and write for the Signpost, the campus newspaper.
"I almost changed my major because I really didn't want to take the class and write for the newspaper," she said.
But she persevered and found out she liked the writing, ending up as an editor at the Signpost.
She began her association with the Standard-Examiner by sharing a job as an editorial assistant to the editorial page editor.
She enjoyed that, but it was a nudge from a former professor that turned her to reporting.
"She told me I should be writing," Rachel said.
Coincidentally, the Standard was looking for correspondents at that time.
She applied and has been writing for us for about 10 years. She started, and has continued, with North Ogden, picking up Roy and school stories later.
Her work as a correspondent fits in well with her personal life.
"I can be involved in my kids' life and have a job, besides thinking about the mom thing. Writing is an outlet for me. I like to be working and doing something on the side," she said.
Being a mom is still her first priority, but "I like the fact I can show to the kids I went to college and have a job. It's important to me."
One of the attractions of reporting is familiar to those in our business: Getting to know a little bit about a lot of different things.
"It pushes me out of my comfort zone, it's a chance to ask questions that you would never have a chance to otherwise," she said.
Rachel has reported some contentious stories, including the recent cheerleader hazing incident at Ogden High; and, like most reporters, has learned the value of a thick skin.
"You're always under scrutiny. People I know have been critical about (some of) what I've reported on.
"Some people are upset about the hazing stories, and say 'Can't you just turn and look the other way?' "
Rachel has the answer:
"That's not what I do."
MISSING STORIES: In Thursday's paper, we left Weber edition readers scratching their heads. None of the stories that jumped inside from the local section front were continued inside, ending instead in mid-story.
Due to a production error, the wrong jump page ran in the Weber edition. The three stories did run in full on Page 2A of Friday's paper.
Dave Greiling is managing editor of the Standard-Examiner. He may be reached at (801) 625-4224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org