I worked with Tracey for 12 years while we were both at The Dallas Morning News. Tracey was a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Cuba and I was, for most of that time, vice president/managing editor.
Tracey joined the Morning News staff in September 1993. He quickly established himself as an MVP, a top-tier reporter and writer on a talented staff that then numbered nearly 650.
Tracey’s work stood out. For one, he did uncommonly tough stories, sometimes under punishing physical conditions. Whether covering coups or earthquakes, armed conflicts or organized crime, Tracey approached his stories with intelligence, resourcefulness and remarkable stamina. Even after weeks of working in a hostile environment, Tracey remained alert and nimble, consistently producing cogent, clear-headed and compelling accounts of events that unfolded unpredictably, sometimes chaotically.
Tracey also brought penetrating insight and sophistication to his stories. His knowledge of Latin America came in part from years of scholarship. But some of Tracey’s most valuable research came not from books or interviews with politicians and power brokers, but from relationships developed with ordinary people. In Cuba, in Mexico, in Afghanistan and in Haiti, some of Tracey’s most memorable stories involved everyday folks who found themselves caught up in world events.
Indeed, going beyond the “official story” was one of the hallmarks of Tracey’s reporting.
One of Tracey’s biggest reporting challenges was his coverage of Cuba. As bureau chief for one of only three U.S. newspaper organizations with a full-time bureau in Cuba, Tracey felt a special obligation to tell the stories that had been untold for decades.
Some of the reason for Tracey’s success lies with his personal qualities. He is a sincere and genuine person. He is a person of high integrity whose sense of fairness is apparent not only in his reporting, but in his dealings with associates and co-workers. In other words, Tracey is a pleasure to work with.