It’s my fourth day on the job as managing editor at the Gazette. My impressions? Stillwater isn’t much like Brooklyn Park.
I realize that’s a strange comparison, but Brooklyn Park is my point of reference, because up until this week I’d been covering that city for the Sun Post the past few years.
Stillwater is a place that seems difficult not to like. Whenever I mention my job change to friends or family, they inevitably comment on what a beautiful city and area this is. They speak from the experience of visiting, perhaps once or twice a year, and they’re right.
But I know there’s more to this community than meets the eye of tourists enjoying the shopping and ambience of Main Street and the scenic views of the river. Behind the city’s image lie the stories of real people, rich history and, I’m sure, even some thorny issues awaiting resolution.
As a community journalist, I want to understand and tell your stories.
My ties to community journalism run back to my days as a youngster doing my first job — delivering a paper route for the St. Louis Park Sun Sailor.
I also began writing at a young age. Along with one of my best friends, I tried to start a newspaper. It didn’t end well, because we had a fundamental difference in philosophy — he wanted to write humorous, fictitious stories, but I insisted it had to be like a “real” paper. We never produced an issue off whatever press or printer we planned to use.
Another time, I tried to start a paper with a couple of my seven younger siblings. We printed one edition on standard copy paper.
Our grandparents loved it, but I think that was the extent of our readership.
I feel privileged that I’ve had the chance to turn my interest in journalism into a career. It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding. I enjoy getting to know the people and stories of a particular community. The rich history of Stillwater especially intrigues me.
A vibrant, high-quality newspaper should play a vital role in the culture and conversation of a community. We will continue to strive for excellence at the Gazette.
Watch for a few changes in the next month as we seek to serve your needs and be an integral part of the community in the years to come.
Don’t hesitate to contact me or another member of our staff with your comments, letters and story ideas. If you see me on the street, introduce yourself. I look forward to delving into the Stillwater community.
Contact Jonathan Young at firstname.lastname@example.org