In last month’s issue, we featured an interview with News Channel 8’s Steve Andrews, Tampa Bay’s top investigative reporter. Andrews is known for his hard-hitting stories, exposing everyone from crooked nursing home owners to shady politicians – making him most beloved to the public as the man dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless.
The response via email and social media to Andrews’ story was so profound we wanted to include a small follow-up with our favorite reporter, giving us a final look into what he considers his most fulfilling work.
Steve: My most fulfilling work comes when I feel like my team and I really are serving those least able to serve themselves. That can be anything from stories at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, to an elderly woman who had her companion, her dog, stolen.
There was a particular series of stories we did about some employees who worked at the former General Electric plant in Largo. They were organizing in an attempt to take action against the wrongdoing of being exposed to harsh chemicals during their work. In the Largo plant, they used to make components for atomic and hydrogen bombs, and some of the stuff they were working with was radioactive. A few of these employees called us to let us know how the exposure was so severe it had led them to become sick and dying of cancer.
The investigation revealed they were in fact exposed to radioactive elements and really toxic chemicals without any protection, a realization that prompted us to literally expose the blatant disregard of the employer towards the employees’ health.
It can be stories where we are helping a single person reunite with a beloved pet, stories where we are serving disadvantaged youth, or stories where we are helping an entire power plant staff receive reparations for their health losses; the details aren’t always as important. What matters most is that we are righting the wrongs of powerful entities that leave everyday citizens feeling powerless. Empowering those in my community is what makes it most fulfilling.