When I graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2009 with my bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in print journalism, I was extremely nervous about the future.
And understandably so.
The U.S. economy was facing the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression and newspaper outlets all over the country were laying off thousands of employees due to a dramatic shift away from print media to digital journalism.
Nonetheless, I lucked out when I got an entry-level reporter gig at The Downey Patriot newspaper, a local weekly that covered politics, sports, and crime in my hometown.
For the past eight years, I’ve had the chance of a lifetime to serve not only Downey, but Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Cerritos, La Mirada, Bellflower, Pico Rivera, and Lakewood by producing multimedia stories that uncover truth, promote justice, and inform our residents.
When I was promoted to editor of The Norwalk Patriot after receiving my master’s degree in journalism from USC, I knew it was my mission to help foster a bold identity and higher standard for Norwalk news.
Under my tenure, The Norwalk Patriot received its own website, a Twitter account, a new logo, student-journalist contributions from Cerritos College, and a media sponsor-relationship with the city of Norwalk.
In addition, the Patriot’s Facebook page has expanded its followers by more than 50% and is gaining name recognition around town for quality journalism.
Given all that has been accomplished, it’s bittersweet to announce that I will be leaving The Norwalk Patriot as its editor, effective Aug. 11.
However, while I am leaving The Patriot this week, I am not leaving Norwalk as I have accepted a new position as a full-time professor at Cerritos College, where I will serve as head of the journalism department.
We must admit it – journalism is changing. “Fake News” is now in all of our lexicons and we are receiving more and more of our news content via smartphone. More than ever, we need wise journos who know how to navigate this tough partisan terrain.
I have always been passionate about journalism education – and it is my hope to use all the skills and lessons I have learned here to prepare and equip the next generation of reporters, photographers, and editors.
It’s been a pleasure serving this community from the editor’s desk. But now, I look forward to serving from the professor’s desk. Godspeed, Norwalk.