Chohan to leave CBS4, but fact checks of ads to conintinue

Raj Chohan, a reporter for Channel 4 News (CBS4), is leaving the station to become a lawyer.

He and 9News’ Adam Schrager are known in political circles for, among other things, their on-air fact checking of political ads during election cycles. 9News’ ad analyses are called “Truth Tests.” CBS4’s are called “Reality Checks.”

CBS4 doesn’t plan on dropping Reality Check, which is a great public service given the overwhelming power of political ads on television. The on-air fact checks are some of the best political coverage we see on local TV news shows. And, strangely enough, they’re popular. The big challenge for journalists covering politics on local TV news is to find ways to make important political information engaging enough so viewers don’t change the channel. The ad checks are one way to do this.

Chohan will continue hosting KBDI’s flagship public affairs show, Colorado Inside Out, which airs Friday at 8 p.m. on Channel 12.

Chohan’s wife, CBS4 reporter Shaun Boyd, may replace him as the lead reporter for the “Reality Check” series.  

In an email to me, Chohan responded to a few questions about his departure from CBS4.

 ·         Is it true that you’re leaving Channel 4 to practice law? Why?

I will be leaving Channel 4 after the May ratings book to become a lawyer.  I expect to graduate in May with a J.D. from DU. I will spend the summer preparing for the July bar exam.  I have accepted an offer to join the Denver office of a national law firm.

 ·         Will you be leaving Colorado  Inside Out?

I expect to continue hosting Colorado Inside Out.  It is a unique show and one of the best parts of my work week.  KBDI has expressed an interest in my continued tenure there and I am certainly inclined to stick with it.

 ·         Will anyone be doing Reality Check in your absence? If not, why?

CBS 4 is in the process of identifying a replacement for Reality Check.  The inside scoop is that my wife, Shaun Boyd, may take it over.  She is an excellent reporter and would do a great job with the franchise.  She has been approached by the news director, Tim Wieland, about this possibility.  She has not yet made a final decision.

 ·         Do you think you’ll go back to journalism someday?

I love the biz, but I don’t expect to return in any full-time capacity.  For my family, the journalism business has become too unstable.  News outlets are making less money and making tough business decisions to remain viable.  There are a lot of talented journalists on the street looking for work.  Local TV stations across the nation have been cutting back staff, newspapers have been taking a beating, and the new model of journalism has not yet developed enough for me to feel secure in this business over the long term.  Several years ago, my wife and I saw the storm clouds gathering over this business.  We decided to set-up an exit strategy before things got too bad.  We have two young children and could not risk the insecurity of a business in flux. I am excited about my new career and look forward to practicing law.  I hope to keep some presence in the news community via Colorado Inside Out, perhaps even a blog or maybe a column. 

 ·         What will you miss most about leaving journalism?

I will miss covering politics.  It is a fascinating time to be doing news.  This is a wonderful business for information junkies who enjoy learning how the world works and contributing to the discussion.  No matter what the economic realities of the business are, I hope enthusiastic aggressive journalists will continue to come to the business.  It is a remarkable thing to be able to do for a living. 

 ·         What will you miss least?

What I will miss least:  I never enjoyed “death patrol.”  This is when reporters show up on doorsteps on the worst day of a person’s life – when they have lost someone very close.  At times these stories can offer compelling insights into the human condition.  However, most of the time they are an unwelcome intrusion into a family’s grief.  The other thing I won’t miss is working holidays.

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