Q: Why did you decide to pursue television news as a career?
A: I decided to pursue a career in journalism because I love to write. I thought a chance to write something interesting and exciting on a daily basis would be a good way to make a living.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job ever was as a janitor at the Florsheim Shoe Warehouse in Chicago. My first full-time job in television was at KMSP-TV in Minneapolis.
Q: What is on your DVR?
A: I don't have a DVR
Q: What is favorite way to spend a day off?
A: Enjoy a Colts football game at Lucas Oil Stadium
Q: Favorite restaurant in Indy?
A: Peterson's Steakhouse
Q: Most challenging part of your job?
A: Most difficult part of the job is keeping a handle on constantly changing stories
Q: Most memorable story you ever covered?
A: I interviewed President Gerald Ford
Q: Favorite book, movie?
A: My favorite movie is It's A Wonderful Life. My favorite book is Invisible Man.
Q: What’s on your iPod?
A: Don't have iPod
Q: Best advice you ever got?
A: "Don’t worry about things you cannot control."
Q: Favorite vacation spot?
A: Best vacation spot is the Phoenix, Az. area for baseball spring training
Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: Proudest career moment is any day I can bring some information, some sunshine, some happiness, or make a difference in the lives of Indiana residents.
Q: Do you have any pets?
Q: When you have visitors to Indy where do you take them?
A: I take visitors to sporting events, big sporting events.
Q: What advice would you give someone to get into the business?
A: Only advice would give someone who wants to get in the TV business is get used to working on holidays.
Q: Do you have a favorite cause/charity?
A: My favorite cause is encouraging people to exercise their right to vote.
Q: When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
A: Ziplining was the last new thing I tried.
Q: What electronic gadget can you not live without?
A: Not tied to any electronic gadgetry
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: Favorite childhood memory is going to summer camp in Michigan
Q: What is the hardest thing you ever had to do?
A: Handling personal tragedy is the hardest thing I’ve had to do.
Q: Did you have a mentor in your career?
A: My mentors include Indiana Broadcast Hall of Famers Barbara Boyd and Howard Caldwell
Q: If you weren't in your current profession what would you be doing?
A: If I wasn’t a journalist, I would probably have gone to law school.
Q: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
A: I would probably have a heart attack and not be able to enjoy my new found wealth.
Q: If you could witness any event, past or present what would it be?
A: I wish I could have attended the 1963 March on Washington.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?
A: Still waiting for my proudest achievement
Why did Derrik Thomas get into the television news business?
"To have an opportunity to provide information, help and influence people," he said.
He's been doing just that since coming to RTV6 in 1979. Before joining the 6News team, Thomas was a reporter with KMSP-TV in Minneapolis, where he had the chance to interview Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential campaigns.
"It was really neat to meet both of them," he said. Thomas also worked at WMT-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Thomas' reporting has earned him first place awards from United Press International, Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalists and The Associated Press.
In addition to these awards, Thomas received the distinguished achievement award from the Center For Leadership Development in 1989. He also was awarded the Indianapolis Magazine Best Reporter in 1987 and the 1991 Indianapolis Star's Best Reporter in their Reader's Choice Poll.
The Chicago native graduated from MacMurray College in 1975 with a degree in English. His master's degree in journalism came from the University of Iowa in 1977.
Thomas lives in the Indianapolis area, where he likes to visit his favorite restaurant -- Shaffer's.