Journalism is not a career path that I expected to be on when I graduated high school and ventured out to college. Back then I expected my initial college major of website design to be my future or possibly running my parents' resort and campground in northern Minnesota when they retired.
However, the more I tried to make those options into careers, I realized they just weren't for me. I ended up getting a second college degree, this time in international relations, and in the midst of that, got my first "real" job with a newspaper.
I was initially hired as an interactive designer. I built web and print ads, and managed the online editorial content for Detroit Lakes Newspapers. The experience I gained there was valuable but I found my comfort zone to be more in the editorial side of operations.
Two years ago I decided to make the leap into a full-time editorial position at the RiverTown Multimedia copy desk. While I loved being part of the copy desk and I realized I found my career calling inside a newsroom, my personality wouldn't let me sit idle with where I was at.
I'm a person who thrives on improving my skill sets, never settling for just being OK or good at what I'm doing. That meant improving my writing beyond the occasional column I wrote. For the past seven months, that led me to the sports desk at the Red Wing Republican Eagle.
Again though, I felt like it was time to take the next step. That brings us to the present when I accepted the position of regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia.
Working in various functions of a newspaper for the past seven years, I've never been more ready to take on the challenge of being your regional editor. I understand the business side of a media product and more importantly the value of bringing the stories that you want to read to your mailbox or electronic device.
To double down on that, I encourage an active dialogue between you as readers and myself as editor. If you have a story idea that you think is important, let me know. If there's an issue that you have a strong opinion about, send us your letter and we'll get it printed. My line of communication is always open and I look forward to hearing from you and giving you the stories that our communities want.
Jake Pfeifer is the regional editor for the Hastings Star Gazette and Farmington-Rosemount Independent Town Pages. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.