R.I.P. News

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

We lost a beloved colleague this week. Dennis Myers, who had been the news editor of the RN&R since 2003, died after suffering a stroke. He was an award-winning journalist who contributed to dozens of local publications.

The RN&R will feature several in-depth memorials in the upcoming weeks, but for now, suffice it to say that Dennis was a walking encyclopedia of Nevada history, an incisive analyst of current events, and a fearless reporter who never hesitated to speak truth to power.

I sat about 10 feet away from him for the last 12 years, and we’d often talk about all sorts of matters—from tax policy to Hitchcock movies. I’m sure I benefited more from those conversations than he did.

Dennis taught me to check some of my worst impulses. My instincts were often to chase the big stories. I’d say, “Hey Dennis, how about we do a story about [insert hot-button, over-publicized story of the day here]?” And he’d reply, “Why? Everybody else is already covering it.”

And then a week later, he’d say to me, “I’ve got three stories in this week’s paper, and you’ll be happy to know that none of them are being covered anywhere else.”

It would always crack me up how Dennis would answer the phone. He’d just say, “news.” Not “hello.” Not “Reno News & Review. This is Dennis. How can I help you?” Just “news.”

More often than not, the next thing I’d hear him say, after a long pause, would be, “This is Dennis.”

Once, I said to him, “You know, Dennis, if you just answered the phone, ‘This is Dennis,’ you might avoid some confusion.”

But he didn’t care. He liked identifying himself as “news.” Sometimes, he’d even accidentally write “news” instead of his own name. He often said he wished our articles didn’t need bylines. He hated it when we had a “best journalist” category in Best of Northern Nevada—even though he would usually win.

It feels like half this paper just vanished. This week, it’s just the Reno Review.