Itís a bittersweet moment for me to announce that after a year of putting two pages per week together for a town of 2,000, I will be moving on. My last day at the Pilot-Tribune will be Tuesday, which means this is the last Alta section youíll see my byline in.
I have been offered a position to work at two daily papers, the Fort Dodge Messenger and Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal, where I hope to further hone my passion for telling stories that matter to folks.
Itís been an honor to narrate the hidden gems in Alta and highlight the precious people that live there. I think itís fair to say a town of Altaís size produces an abnormally large amount of intriguing newsóparticularly in city council meetings, where folks have come to know me by name and welcome me with a smile, occasionally breaking the fourth wall during meetings to ask me a favor.
Usually the favor was ďElijah, donít write this down,Ē or an ask for free publicity. (I will take this opportunity to deliver a friendly reminder that: 1. Asking a reporter to ignore something will pique their attention even more, and 2. Local journalism that produces relevant stories to the small towns larger media outlets donít pay attention to isnít cheap to produceómake sure you pay for your news and support the paper through advertising.)
The communities the Pilot-Tribune serves will always have a special place in my heart for the opportunity they gave me to prove my worth as a writer. I came here for a job, but in the process found a passion for a career in a field challenged now more than ever. That passionósomething I have been searching for since the latter years of collegeóis more valuable than any paycheck, and itís something Iíll always cherish.
In just over a year, Iíve had the opportunity to win a first place prize from the INA for something I wrote in my first month, the chance to spread awareness of social issues that have always been close to my heart and the privilege to cover a variety of exciting events that few other small towns ever see.
Thank you, Alta, for the role youíve played in giving me a vibrant start to my career as a journalist.