'Unconventional' but excited to be editor

A few weeks shy of one year ago, I wrote a column on these pages introducing myself as the new Green River Star staff writer. In it I explained how journalism is in my blood, but I never expected to go into this field. Life had other plans. 

That column has been on my mind this week as I've taken my first steps in my new role as the editor of the Green River Star. 

In many ways, it's hard for me to believe and accept this new role. Putting "editor" next to my name just looks funny. It's probably because I never anticipated having that title. A year ago, when I started at the Star, if you'd told me I would eventually become editor, I would have laughed at you. (Someone actually did bring up the possibility, and I did laugh.) 

To be fully honest, I don't feel like I'm as qualified as I should be in order to become an editor. This is mostly because of my unconventional and relatively recent entry into the world of newspapers. I'm a writer, yes, and I studied writing and communication, but I didn't study journalism specifically. My first newspaper job was helping in the pressroom and delivering papers in the middle of the night when there weren't enough carriers to cover all the routes. Only three years ago, that's where I still was. My experience as a journalist, let alone learning other skills that go along with being an editor, is all fairly new. 

However, as much as titles and qualifications sound vaguely strange and intimidating to me, I'm excited when I think about what being editor actually means. 

It means I get to share what's happening in our community. It means I have the responsibility to keep people informed. It means I can help provide a platform for multiple voices and perspectives. It means I can take part in the fun and exciting things going on around us. It means I get to be a small part of ensuring a 132-year-old piece of our community keeps going. 

Most of all, it means I get to keep telling stories and, hopefully, using them to bring hope and light into people's lives, which is all I've ever wanted to do.  

I'm also all too aware I didn't come this far on my own. I'm grateful for my awesome support system who has cheered me on every unexpected step of the way over the past few years. I'm grateful for all the coworkers who have taught me what I needed to get to this point without totally crashing and burning. I'm very grateful I have our amazing General Manager Jackie by my side and helping me out as we make this transition.

Going forward, I'm also aware I can't be a good editor on my own. I humbly ask for your help - all of you. I truly want the Green River Star to be a community newspaper. Let me know about the important events going on. Tell me about news tips you hear. Send press releases or photos from your organization. Share your personal opinions through letters to the editor. Let me know what you like or don't like in the newspaper. I'm here for you. Help me make the Star what you want it to be.

So whether or not I'm a "conventional" editor - whatever that actually means - I am a person who loves to communicate and loves to bring people together. And that, in my opinion, is what a local newspaper should accomplish.


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