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Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

Editor's Corner: Getting the Band Back Together


Last updated 8/25/2020 at 11:31am

Hello, Mill Creek readers – I am, once again, your editor.

I was last an editor for Mill Creek readers in 2002. I was at the Enterprise, a community newspaper then owned by the Washington Post. Back then, I worked alongside the Beacon’s current Sports and Mukilteo Editor, David Pan, in a room with a current Lynnwood City Councilmember, a retired Herald news writer, the owner of a nonprofit bicycling agency, and others who went on to do incredible things.

I missed news – I missed my “band” from the moment I left.

In between then and now, I ran a freelance business as a stay-at-home Mom, and worked as a dementia-care assistant, a physical therapy aide, and a yoga teacher.

When I announced my Beacon editorship, it was with a gasp of relief in this unintended pandemicpause. I had returned to newswork at a community newspaper in my childhood hometown, the Snohomish County Tribune, about nine months before COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic.

In response to my announcement as a Beacon editor, a former Enterpriser quipped that we were “getting the band back together.”

If you’re over 40, I bet the phrase spurs reflective thought – ahem, I am over 40. The Urban Dictionary defines “getting the band back together” as “trying to organize friends together.” Remember that? Organizing friends together? Ah, those were good days – before getting together with anyone became an ordeal of obsessive compulsivity.

We are in strange times. In this era of pandemicking, moments to feel free and expressive, as we do when joining with friends, are probably a bit more rare. We are pushed to be starkly present, taking nothing for granted in this era. Or we are carried away on the worst days, to vent and reflect.

In this trying time when safety and sustenance are on the line, we are unified in the experience of asking the big questions. What is freedom? What is equity? When does the balance-scale tip more toward health and when does it tip more toward something else – such as money, or one-on-one interaction? And how does that impact the economy, health, and community bonding for Mill Creek and its surrounding communities?

As I delve into the stories that Mill Creek readers need, I’ll be watching for the changes that define what this era means to the readers.

They say art imitates life. In news, the art is simply bearing witness to life and taking notes. I look forward to recording the artistry of lives lived, in Mill Creek. And in the metaphorical sense, I have a wish for you – if “getting the band back together” means feeling liberated and connected, I hope I can help readers feel that.

We encourage reader engagement: write a letter, share a story idea or an insight, send a photo. We want to hear how these strange times are impacting your day-to-day life. What have you learned about yourself and others? What do you see as positive consequences – such as remote work or reduced traffic?

What do you want to know more about?

Keep in touch.

Jana Hill is a journalist at heart and by trade, and she is the new editor of the Mill Creek Beacon. Send story ideas, photos, and announcements to [email protected]


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