Change-the only constant

 

February 22, 2024



Dear Readers,

The Eagle continues its journey of growth as we transition from one era to another. With our first focus group coming up this week, and other exciting innovations coming this summer, the publishers and our staff are excited to continue responding to the needs of our community. We are committed to providing timely and relevant news, culture, and information for the residents of Wahkiakum County by covering the matters that are most important to you. We also want The Eagle to be a means for expanding the world of Wahkiakum County residents beyond the county line, informing our readers about events of interest in Clatskanie, Astoria, Pacific County, and Cowlitz County. As we continue this process of discovery and evolution, we will continue to find creative ways to engage with you, our loyal readers, and to hear your feedback and your wishes for Wahkiakum and your lives, and to grow the incredible support you’ve shown us these past eight months.

With that in mind, it is with an equal measure of gratitude and support that we announce that our beloved Diana Zimmerman, a bedrock of The Eagle’s reporting for over twelve years, will be transitioning into a more limited role with the paper.

Diana will be taking on a new position with Wahkiakum Health and Human Services. This is a thrilling opportunity for her, and also for WHHS. It will allow Diana more consistency and stability than any small weekly newspaper could provide, and it will offer to residents of Wahkiakum County an invaluable resource and steadfast champion.

This is a major loss for The Eagle. But fear not: Diana’s writing will still appear from time to time in our pages, as she has already indicated that her love for writing, and The Eagle, is not at all diminished. It’s simply time for change!

Diana, who is currently on vacation, will write a piece in her own words upon her return. But we felt that it was important to inform you now of this major change to our paper—with the death of Rick Nelson, Geri Florek’s retirement, and this shift in Diana’s professional life, The Eagle is entering a new era.

What an exciting opportunity this is. Though we will all feel the impact of Diana’s “departure” (this isn’t quite the right word for it, since she will continue to submit stories when possible), we are now faced with a challenge that can bring our community even closer together in support of local news.

In the short term, our new editor-publisher Brandon J. Simmons, stalwart Eagle staffer Ian Brandon, and newcomer Stacey Lane, will be filling in the gaps. You will also notice some new, but possibly familiar names on our bylines, as other community members help stabilize our reporting for the next few months.

But in the longer term, we want to explore a more community-driven approach to news. Look for an announcement in the coming weeks of a community meeting, hosted by The Eagle, where we will create a Community News Team. This team will form a new corps of community writers, photographers, staffers, and supporters to work part-time to create a new way of reporting on local issues and a new future for The Eagle.

Local news is in a tenuous place. Every year more and more small news organizations like The Eagle are closing. You showed us last summer that you will not allow that fate for The Eagle. And you can count on us to continue listening to your concerns and needs, and to provide the leadership needed for this transition. Thank you for your support.

We wish Diana the very best in her new pursuit. Her dedication to The Eagle and to the Nelson family has been steadfast and inspiring. Her love of this community is boundless, as is our support for her.

Keep up with The Eagle in print, online, and on Facebook for more updates and information.

As our fearless leader, Rick Nelson, always said:

“Onward!”

Jacob Nelson

Brandon J. Simmons

The Eagle Publishers

 

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