I love my job.
I relish coming to work each day and having no idea how things will turn out. I crave the pressure and adrenaline rush of looming deadlines and hard decisions. I look forward to brainstorming big stories and bigger projects, to helping reporters realize their potential.
But most of all, I love meaningful work, the feeling that comes from performing a task that might effect change or make my community a little better. And thankfully, I get that opportunity often.
In my two years as editor here, I’ve been privileged to play a small role in some big stories, like the investigative work of education reporter Seth Klamann, who uncovered horrid acts of bullying among high school athletes in Wyoming. Seth’s work earned him national recognition and directly led to changes at the Natrona County School District that will keep students safer and parents better informed.
Or consider the careful work of Heather Richards, our longtime energy reporter who recently took a job in Washington, D.C. With nuance and precision, Heather documented the decline of Wyoming’s energy industry during the last downturn. But she did more than write about earnings reports and gas prices; she told the stories of miners who lost health benefits, of families whose lives were forever altered by coal’s faltering.
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I came to the Star-Tribune in 2007 as a cops reporter, and I still carefully follow the beat. Our public safety reporter, Shane Sanderson, has done outstanding work, going beyond the dirge of daily arrests to explain why things are happening in our criminal justice system. Two stories immediately come to mind: his award-winning work on the rise in Wyoming’s incarceration rates amid a national decline and his coverage of a brutal shooting that nearly killed a Casper police officer.
What does all this work have in common? It goes the extra mile, bringing you a nuance and richness that helps readers better understand the place where they live. We were hardly the only news organization in Wyoming to write about bullying or coal miners or shootings. But it was a Star-Tribune reporter who broke the story of waterboarding at a Casper high school. It was a Star-Tribune reporter who traveled across Wyoming in the dead of winter to tell the story of small-town miners who lost their hard-earned benefits in a coal company’s bankruptcy. And it was a Star-Tribune reporter who spent weeks understanding the shooting of Officer Jacob Carlson, tracing its beginnings in a dirt lot to its conclusion, as two friends struggled to recover from deep physical and emotional wounds.
I’m telling you this not to brag about our work, though I’m immensely proud of it and my colleagues: the reporters, editors, photographers and our copy desk. Instead, I’m asking for your support. Local journalism plays a critical role in Wyoming, but that can’t happen without readers who are willing to pay for it. Subscriptions help pay to send reporters to far-flung parts of the state. Subscriptions support investigative journalism that exposes problems and offers solutions for addressing them.
For those of you who already subscribe to the newspaper or our website, thank you. For those who aren’t yet subscribers, I’d ask you consider giving it a try. Right now, you can start a digital-only subscription for as little as 99 cents for the first month. If you believe your community should stay informed, that context and detail matter in journalism, I think you’ll find the product well worth the price.
Thanks for reading.