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We open with a producer off-camera asking, “Can you give us a brief explanation of what’s going on with your voice?”
Jamie Dupree, dressed for Capitol Hill, immediately begins writing down his response on his tablet. He looks up at the camera with a smirk and simply replies, “No.”
In essence, the documentary ‘Voice of Reason’ is the story of Jamie Dupree’s return to air. But, Jamie’s story transcends radio waves.
Directed by WSB Videographer Jesse Brooks, ‘Voice of Reason’ is a story of triumph and how in Jamie’s words, despite life’s adversity, “There is no reason to give up.”
As a Cox Media Group Washington correspondent, Jamie spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill. Nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.
Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. “It’s hard, but I’m working to come back hard,” Jamie tells WSB.
As it became obvious in the last year that his voice was not coming back, Jamie doubled down his efforts to find answers. And that’s when Mike Lupo at CMG’s corporate headquarters contacted a company in Scotland called CereProc.
With innovative technology, CereProc developed a special voice app that allows Jamie to use a simple text-to-speech program to generate news reports in his old voice.
‘Voice of Reason,’ which became a labor of love for WSB’s Jesse Brooks, delves deeper into CereProc’s technology and Jamie’s emotional journey over the past few years
The documentary is peppered with moving interviews with Jamie’s colleagues, and even a few candid glimpses of Jamie with his kids.
He’s thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that’s not what Jamie says hurts him the most –
“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”
Specialists at Emory University in Atlanta are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of Jamie’s tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.
“Let’s be frank about this whole situation -- this sucks,” Jamie tells producers in ‘Voice of Reason,’ adding through misty eyes, “But there is no reason to quit.
“There is no reason to stop trying. And so I’m not going to stop trying.”