Doug Parrish is likely not the only Washingtonian to admit they don’t take full advantage of what living in the nation’s capital has to offer. Although he reports on the city day in and day out for 24/7 News Source, Parrish says, “I like to play tourist from time to time and go to museums like the National Gallery of Art. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of your professional life and not take advantage of everything D.C. offers.”
Parrish credits a college internship for helping him get his start in radio. “I had the opportunity to intern at a newspaper in Richmond that also had relationships with some of the radio stations in town. It took me about a year to get my first full-time job in radio.” It was the immediacy of getting information out to the public that attracted Parrish to working radio and it is something that he believes still holds true today. “I think a lot of people look at radio and see it as something of a dying medium. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s nothing like radio to reach a large audience.”
Parrish has been with 24/7 News Source for four years. It is a national news organization providing information content to over 1,000 affiliated radio stations, websites and iHeartRadio channels, around the clock, 365 days a year. In Parrish’s opinion, the advent of new forms of radio, such as digital and online radio, has helped keep it relevant today. “Radio comes in so many forms these days. With the advent of the internet and digital radio, it continues to grow,” he says. “There is still a terrestrial listener base. There are still people who wake up and listen to the radio in the morning.”
In his day-to-day reporting, Parrish tends to focus mainly on local Washington, D.C.area news. “We’re more likely to cover a national story about protests, demonstrations, or impacts from legislation because they have a real impact on the ground,” he says. “National ranking stories, like ‘what’s the best city to live in for young professionals,’ are very popular because people want to know where Washington, D.C. ranks on the list.”
A lifelong Redskins fan, Parrish enjoys the perks of living in Washington, D.C. When he’s not working, he likes taking advantage of the restaurants, cultural events and parks the city offers. One of the most memorable reporting experiences Parrish had was covering 9/11. “I was just starting out, and had yet to go on the air. After it happened, my program director came to me saying ‘Doug, I want you to put together a list of places where people can go to donate items.’ Within 15 minutes, they had me on the air,” he recalls.
Looking ahead, Parrish thinks advancements in technologies will continue to change the style of radio reporting. “Reporters who are out in the field are using very streamlined equipment now. A lot of people are recording audio through their phones,” he says. “There are so many apps you can use to record on your phone. Recording equipment is less cumbersome so we have faster reporting times.”
Through all the technological advancements, Parrish still whole-heartedly believes the integrity of a story and getting it right is most important. “There’s an art to storytelling – creating stories with words instead of images. The medium continues to change and evolve.”