A look back at my first year as editor | Our Corner

2017 was a fun, yet learning experience for me as editor of The Reporter

I have been racking my brain (for a good week now), attempting to come up with a non-cliche way to start this column.

But I couldn’t come up with anything creative enough.

Instead, I will start off by saying — I can’t believe I have been editor of The Renton Reporter for more than a year now.

That’s crazy.

But I guess it’s true — time flies when you’re having fun.

And it has been a fun year. And also, a learning experience.

I have been working for Sound Publishing for more than four years and in that time I have held a number of different positions, each one coming with its own joys and challenges.

When I was first hired in Oct. 2013, I started as a reporter for The Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier Herald (which is now combined with The Enumclaw Courier Herald).

Soon after, I made the transition to The Covington Maple Valley Reporter where I became assistant editor.

And last December when Renton’s former editor left the company, I interviewed and was hired to be the next editor.

I really have enjoyed “coming home.” I feel like in these four years I have come full circle.

Being from Fairwood has given me a slight advantage but not nearly what I thought it would. There really is so much that goes on in Renton and a lot of it I wasn’t aware of until I took this position.

And I’m still learning.

Helping me in this year of transitioning was our reporter, Leah Abraham. She had been with The Reporter for almost a year when I was named editor and she has been a great ally to lean on ever since.

Something I have learned from moving around from paper to paper, is it takes time to get to know the city and the players.

Honestly, I’m still working on that. And that’s where Leah becomes really helpful to me — she has built rapport with a number of people in the city.

Because our newsroom is the two of us (with the help of Kayse Angel at The Covington Maple Valley Reporter), I don’t see myself as holding a higher position than either reporter.

We have to work together and rely on each other in order to get each and every issue out, which is also crazy. Sometimes I can’t believe we write for and publish 52 editions yearly (each paper — which means I contribute to at least 104 editions each year!).

In my first year, I was able to bring the food page — In The Kitchen — to Renton. I truly enjoy, and so does my husband, coming up with recipes to fit a theme each month.

It’s something fun we get to do together and it’s something fun we can add to the paper.

This year, I also went through an election including both the primaries and the general.

This wasn’t my first year covering an election but it was my first year working with one while “in charge.”

I enjoyed the opportunity to bring the in-paper debates to Renton.

I personally feel hearing from both sides helps voters decide who will get their vote.

While some may think in-person debates are better and more effective, it is harder for us as a newspaper to do those. So we have to think, how can we cover this election in a fair manner?

Opening up our print editions to the candidates, to respond to questions and let community members hear their voices still gives readers valuable information they may need to make a decision.

Many behind the scenes things have also happened in my short time as editor of The Reporter.

Not that long ago we transitioned into a new system of laying out pages — it’s different from what I’m used to over the past four years and has taken some getting used to, but I can see the benefits it can bring me, my newsroom, my staff and this paper.

I’m sure if I sat here longer and thought harder about the past year, I could come up with many others firsts but for now I will sign off.

I thank each and everyone of you for making our community what it is and I thank you for your readership.

As we put together our last issue of 2017, all we can do now is look ahead to the new year.

From my family to yours, I wish you a very Happy New Year and the best for 2018.

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