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story.lead_photo.caption Family, friends and coworkers supported the City of Jefferson's proclamation for Bob Watson at the city council meeting Monday night. Watson was a reporter in Jefferson City for 45 years. Photo by Danisha Hogue / News Tribune.

Robert "Bob" Watson was recognized Monday night for 45 years of reporting local news.

During the Jefferson City Council meeting, Mayor Carrie Tergin presented the family and Jefferson City News Tribune — where Watson worked for more than 30 years — with a proclamation for his years of service to the community.

Watson died suddenly Aug. 4, following a brief illness.

Beginning his journalism career in Jefferson City, Watson was a radio, television and newspaper reporter. Accurately nicknamed "bulldog" for his determination to find out the truth regardless of what he covered, he expressed kindness to the community and in his mentorship of co-workers. In his career, he covered community and school news, the courts and high-profile criminal cases. For more than two decades, he focused on the coverage of state and federal governments, including the death of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens and numerous presidential visits.

Ward 4 Councilman Ron Fitzwater remembered Watson was always tough and fair.

"He loved the capital," Fitzwater said. "He loved forcing folks to deal with the tough issues. He'd always give you a fair shake in dealing with the tough issues. I think, from our perspective, that's all we can ask for is someone who gives us the ability to get our message out."

Managing Editor Gary Castor said although Watson was originally from St. Louis, he grew to love Jefferson City.

"He understood, better than many, the importance of his role in this city," Castor said. "To ask the questions. To help educate the community so they can make informed decisions. He did not take that duty lightly."

Some of the numerous awards Watson received included the prestigious W. E. Hussman Employee of the Year Award for 2018 and the Missouri Bar Association's Excellence in Legal Journalism Award, three times.

His son, Drew, said he appreciated the recognition from the city.

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