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Woster Brothers Share Stories From Their Careers

Charles Michael Ray

Two of the state’s longest working journalists, and brothers, Terry and Kevin Woster shared behind-the-scenes stories from their careers.

In Rapid City Friday night, they spoke about the Wounded Knee occupation, Governor Bill Janklow, and the ins and outs of the state legislature over the last four decades.


Journalism has changed since both Kevin and Terry Woster first began their careers.

The Wosters knew the best pay phones around the state, and dictated various stories over the phone to interns and editors alike—sometimes those stories were written on napkins or fast food bags.

Terry says compromise was more frequent years ago. He says many in the current political culture believe their own truths, rather than the facts in front of them…

“And I don’t know how you compromise in those conditions,” Terry Woster says. “I do think there are a fair number of legislators where—I don’t know if you call them one issue, but you call them very focused groups—are very intense in their support or opposition. And they scare people. They want to get re-elected so bad that they forget why they want to be there.”

His brother,  Kevin says he sees that affecting Washington more than Pierre. But he says state legislators must be on their toes in today’s environment.

“To me, what’s happening in Pierre just simply reflects what’s happening in the population,” Kevin Woster says. “We’ve hardened. We demand people to pass all of our litmus tests, one or two issues, or we’ll throw you out. If we want statesmen in Pierre, if we want statesmen in Washington, we got to allow them to be statesmen and stateswomen.”

The Woster brothers shared their stories to raise funds for the Black Hills Knowledge Network to digitize historic South Dakota documents and photographs in the Minnilusa Pioneer Museum.

To hear the full audio of the conversation with the Wosters, click play below.