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'I wanted to tell stories that made a difference': Paula Woodward reflects on role as investigative reporter

Paula Woodward spent decades as an investigative reporter at 9NEWS, where she was an original member of the 9Wants to Know team.

DENVER — All this week on 9NEWS mornings, you’re going to see some familiar faces. We’re invited former anchors and reporters to join us. 

Paula Woodward joined 9NEWS in 1977 and was an original member of the 9Wants to Know investigative team at 9NEWS before leaving in 2009.

She was a trailblazer especially because she was a woman working in television news.

"It was white men, I was a woman starting out," Woodward said. "I really did a lot of work toward getting on the air being a reporter. I think I had to work extra hard because it still wasn't accepted that women would be on TV."

Credit: KUSA

One of her investigative pieces focused on public works employees and how much they were actually working. The story, known as "Caution Frequent Stops" found that some workers didn't appear to be working at all while on the clock.

Credit: KUSA

She said it was that story that put her on the map and that others trusted her to tell their stories. 

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"That story opened up a lot of people to trusting me to do their most hidden secrets," Woodward said.

She covered big stories such as the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 that killed 12 students and one teacher and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder 1996. Woodward went on to write a book about that case, called "We have your daughter: The Unsolved Murder of JonBenet Ramsey 20 Years Later."

She's appeared on numerous national broadcasts to discuss the case, which remains unsolved.

"I didn't know what 9Wants to Know would become," Woodward said. "I just knew I wanted to tell stories that made a difference. It was great to uncover these secrets that people were trying to hide and make a difference."

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Things haven't always been easy since Woodward left 9NEWS in 2009. She suffered the devastating loss of her husband.

"Life after 9NEWS... my husband died of the flu, and I was broken and shattered and it took me a long time to accept the word 'gone.' He was my rock."

Credit: KUSA
Paula Woodward and her husband

They had been married for 46 years. 

"My joys come with my family. My joys come with the work that I still do. I'm still writing, I'm still practicing journalism. I'm an investigative reporter and I always will be."

Woodward even alluded to a project she said she couldn't tell us about. At least not now.

"I keep life as full as I want it. This is a good life," she said.