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Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020

On The Scene with Timmy Lane

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Selected as a 2020 AARP Community Challenge Grantee!

In Metropolis, “The Daily Planet” had Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. J. Jonah Jamison had Robbie Robertson at “The Daily Bugle.” Even Shreveport has its intrepid reporter committed to cover crime in the city.

His name is Timmy Lane. He has a Facebook page, Reporter Timmy Lane, where he has more than 78,000 followers. Lane has built the page’s reputation on reporting on breaking news from the Shreveport and Bossier City police departments. He has maintained the page for five years.

“I just feel like it’s a God-given talent,” he said. “I just started doing something that I had no idea how successful I would be today, or how dedicated I would be to it. I’ve just become attached to something that I love doing, and I just take one day at a time and continue to grow and learn at the same time.”

Lane, 31, grew up in Shreveport’s Ingleside neighborhood. He graduated from Fair Park High School, and he earned an associate’s degree in journalism from Southern University in Shreveport in 2014. He recently received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

Lane also received certification as an Emergency Medical Technician through Southern University Shreveport and the Shreveport Fire Department in 2014.

Lane got his start covering news events working for KTBS-3 News. That’s when he met his friend and future co-worker, Joel Rodgers.

“We first met when he was working for KTBS, and I was working for KTAL,” Rodgers said. “As an early morning reporter, I would often arrive at breaking news only to find Timmy Lane was already there.”

Ironically, Lane left television journalism after becoming a victim of crime himself.

“I became a victim of gun violence, attempted armed robbery,” he said. “That was 2015.”

Lane moved to Dallas and drove charter buses. But he never lost his heart for his hometown. He would post stories online about Shreveport news from Dallas.

“I relocated to Dallas just to come back to myself,” Lane said. “I still was kind of easing back into reporting. So I was posting news from Shreveport all the way in Dallas, still keeping my citizens updated. Eventually, I moved back here, and I continued reporting. It was a break, but not a break. Just toned things down a little and come back to reality. It was traumatizing to experience something like that.”

After a year and a half, Lane decided it was time to return to Shreveport. He drove buses for Red River Trailways and worked for RSHV News for about a year until it shut down. That’s where he was reunited with Rodgers. They worked together at RSHV News from Jan. 1, 2019, to Jan. 9, 2020, Rodgers said.

“During that time, RSHV News’ Facebook page gained 27,000 followers,” he said. “All thanks to Timmy’s hard work and dedication.”

Rodgers said he enjoyed helping Lane grow during that time.

“I taught Timmy how to edit with Adobe Premiere Pro, and often times he’d call me in the middle of the night to ask me editing questions,” Rodgers said. “Timmy loves to learn, and it’s a joy to watch him succeed.”

For about three years, Lane has focused on social media as the primary channel for his reporting. He sees that as an advantage over working for a traditional media outlet.

“Just looking at the feedback, the ratings, the stats, the views … my stuff is just skunking the stations. It’s tearing them apart. What I have noticed is that nobody likes to watch TV anymore. Everybody is getting news from social media because everyone has their cellphones and laptops. Everybody likes news instantly. A lot of people don’t have patience when it comes to news. They want to get it live and raw.”

Lane said he noticed the concept is becoming a trend, as he has seen many traditional news outlets post job openings for social media reporters.

“It’s opening doors for other people, and that’s a big plus,” he said.

Lane keeps up with stories across Shreveport and Bossier City by monitoring the police scanner and the Caddo911 website. He also gets tips from his readers and others who support his mission.

“If a citizen sees something, they will message me and ask, ‘What’s this going on?’ It’s your job to find out what’s going on, and if it’s newsworthy, you go to it and update them with it. It’s more like a team effort.”

Rodgers said it is a matter of trust. “The community loves Timmy Lane,” Rodgers said. “When something happens in the community, people call Timmy Lane first, then they dial 9-1-1. We would receive messages on the RSHV FB page with great detail on what’s going on with breaking news.

“The Reporter Timmy Lane Facebook page now serves as that tool. Timmy has eyes and ears everywhere, and it’s because people trust him.”

Lane said he doesn’t have issues on the scene because the officers are fans, too.

“I don’t have any trouble with them because they all follow me, too,” he said. “I hear from the chief, the PIOs, all the officers.”

In addition to maintaining the Facebook page, Lane has a photography business and works weekends at a funeral home. The page is not his vocation, but it is his passion.

“It’s something I love,” he said. “Even though I don’t get paid for it, I love doing what I do. There’s something about me that I’ve always been a great servant to my community. I always want to give back.”

Lane said he has encountered some negativity as his popularity has grown. But it keeps him focused on being what he calls a “champion of news.”

“Some people try to drag you down,” Lane said. “Take it from me, stand tall and be proud. Be who you are. I say that a lot to people. You’re always going to have people target you because you’re doing great, and they are not. They try to drag you down to make you a nothing when you’re a something. That’s why I made that my mission in life, to keep striving for goals and achieving them.”

Rodgers said there is another goal Lane might want to pursue.

“He’s so popular he could be Shreveport mayor,” Rodgers said. “I mean, I’m not sure how many votes Adrian Perkins received in 2018, but I promise you, Timmy Lane could get more.”

ON STANDS NOW!

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