Finds Truth in Tragedy?
Ryan Smith '03
Ryan Smith ’03 knows how it feels to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Twelve years ago, Ryan was brutally attacked while on vacation, suffered brain damage, and was unable to speak for months. Now, as a producer for CBS’s 48 Hours, Ryan believes he’s better at his job because of it. “If someone knows I’m coming from CBS News, they’re going to Google me, and those stories come up. I think that people may be a little more willing to share with me because they know what I’ve been through. But I’m also familiar with the criminal justice system.” Ryan has been working for 48 Hours for more than a decade and is still amazed at how much the popularity of true-crime television has grown. From HBO to Netflix, people are hooked, and there’s more competition for his program than ever before. But it’s not about the ratings for Smith. It’s about the people—on both sides of a criminal trial—and the truth. “When people are going through one of the worst points of their lives, if not the worst, my personal experience helps me understand, in some small way, what it must be like. It’s a trust that we are given, and I don’t want to take advantage of it. We try to do the very best we can in seeking what the truth is, helping uncover it, and sharing people’s stories. And that’s not an easy thing.”
That’s a Wabash man for you. Seriously.