At the Las Vegas Review-Jounral, Christopher Lawrence remembers Jeff German, who died this month, allegedly at the hands of a politician he had exposed.
German was an old-school journalist in every sense of the word. Cultivating sources. Gaining their trust. Working them relentlessly. “He began every call with a source with ‘What’s new?’ and ended each call with ‘What else?’ ” remembers Francis McCabe (no relation to George). Yet he wasn’t afraid of learning a new medium. Apprehensive maybe, but not afraid. “When we first started, I remember he was so nervous,” recalls Larry Mir, who oversaw studio and field production for the second season of “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas.” The two worked together for the better part of a year on the eight-part true-crime podcast German wrote and hosted. There’s such a difference between writing for the eyes, which German had mastered over a four-decade career, and writing for the ears as podcasting requires. “I think he was really worried about writing the scripts and then how he was going to translate that to reading his own words out loud,” Mir says. It took a couple of episodes, but German found his groove. Saturday night, during the Nevada Press Foundation’s awards banquet at the Westgate, hours after German was inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, Season Two of “Mobbed Up” was named the state’s Podcast of the Year. The awards are supposed to be kept secret, but those results have a way of making it to winners ahead of time. “He told me he was so jazzed to win the award,” recalls German’s editor, Rhonda Prast, who oversees the investigative team and worked with him on the editing and production of the series. “I was thrilled for him.” One of their final conversations was about plans to sit together at that banquet.