After a recent interview with one of my long-time sources, they asked how things were going with my new job. I told them I was busy, but in a good way. I’m sorry to say, I lied to my source. It’s true that I’m the good kind of busy, but I left out the parts about how I’m thriving as a journalist and learning and improving as a writer.
I’ve long been what the kids these days call a “stan” of SFR. But I’ve also been a friend, both in the financial and more traditional senses. Long before I had even considered coming on board, I could sometimes be found just sort of hanging around the office. There were the occasional freelance jobs, but mostly I was a low-key groupie. Sure, I love the biting snark of alt-weeklies in general, but SFR goes beyond that and provides readers with exactly what you would expect from a local paper.
For roughly the past eight years, writing about politics was my jam, and every so often I would pitch a story to SFR. With every story, or video in one case, I was always impressed with the thorough editing process and the staff’s ability to crank out news stories with an added bit of levity. Quite frankly, the whole operation made me a little jealous of staff writers who came before me. When I learned about an opening for a news reporter at SFR a few months ago, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. Now I’m part of the news staff and I feel like I just got a shot to play for the 1976 Eagles. I’m still covering politics and now I’m also learning about the Southside in Santa Fe, but I’ve also had my eye on the cannabis industry for a decade and I’m reporting on that in print, online and in our new Leaf Brief podcast that launches in January.
For anyone who doesn’t geek out over journalism, (first off, why not?) things are only getting tougher in our world. Forget the choruses of “fake news” we hear or read almost daily. Newsrooms are shrinking, papers are being sold off to large corporations and sometimes those two things happen in conjunction. But there’s some good news: SFR isn’t giving up or backing down. In fact, we’re pushing forward to bring you, dear readers, a high-quality paper each week—delivered free all over the city.
And if it looks like we’re having fun, it’s because we are. We may not take ourselves too seriously, but we take our jobs very seriously. The level of scrutiny applied to my stories before readers see them is just one reason why SFR is what it is.
Where else can you get snarky and cynical content like 7 Days, right along with in-depth and thoughtful stories about our state’s opioid epidemic and the ongoing climate crisis? The Santa Fe Reporter, that’s where.
I know many of you think just as highly of SFR as I have for so many years. Sure, sharing my level of obsession is probably not healthy, but you can always be our friend! Please consider contributing toward the independent journalism SFR is known for and become a full-fledged Friend of the Reporter.
This letter kicks off the annual year-end campaign for Friends of the Reporter, a community model for supporting our journalism mission. Our newspaper and website remain free. Can you help offset the cost of paper, distribution and newsgathering? Visit sfreporter.com/friends, to make a one-time or recurring donation or via check at PO Box 4910, Santa Fe, NM 87502.