Small newspapers often don't have the time or resources available to do long-term, investigative pieces. We're frequently criticized for not having the kind of exposes that big city papers are known for, instead focusing on the daily drudgery of city council meetings and school board decisions. We are lucky enough to have a reporter in our news room who is still given time to work on big picture pieces, things we save for our Sunday paper in order to give them as much room, and attention, as they deserve. This Sunday, Bennett Hall wrote a great piece on a local landlord who has a terrible reputation in town. Readers are already responding in droves to this piece, and it's the kind of local, hard-hitting journalism I wish we could do more of. Hopefully the positive response reinforces the importance of this kind of work, and keeps it a part of our newsroom even as economic forces alter other areas. Although we sometimes run the risk of being "the bad guy," it's part of our job to be advocates for those who are being oppressed or treated badly, and expose wrong doing when we see it.
I'm a native Oregonian who, up until recently, has been reporting on local issues in Portland, Forest Grove and currently Corvallis. I am now an editor of an internal publication at a local university, making the transition from the newsroom to world of academia. I continue to write, photograph and explore the world of podcasting in my work, and am eager to explore my new opportunities.