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Time sure flies, doesn’t it? l Editor's Note


Last updated 4/11/2018 at Noon

Well, it’s official. It’s been half a year since I started here at the Beacon.

This past Monday, April 9, was the six-month anniversary of my first day on the job as the editor of this newspaper.

It’s strange. It feels like I’ve been here much longer than six months, yet at the same time, it feels like I just started. Funny how time works.

It’s been an interesting six months to say the least.

One thing I like about journalism is how different things can be one week to the next.

For instance, one week I can be writing about things like anti-gun rallies and city council meetings, and then the next I can be writing about how some kids are spending their Spring Break.

I also love the different kinds of people I’ve had the privilege of meeting and interacting with over the last six months.

I remember walking in my first day and talking to Paul Archipley, our publisher and most importantly, my boss, and him showing me around the office and introducing me to how we do things around here.

He showed me how to use Apple software and how to move files around in our Archive. I’d used Windows my whole life, so let’s just say it took some time to get used to.

Now, I go back to my other laptop and have no idea what I’m doing on Windows 10.

Gain one skill and lose another, I guess.

One of the things that was great about my six months here was covering the election.

I started Oct. 9 and Election Day was less than a month away.

I had Letters to the Editor about the various candidates running as well as about Prop. 1 and that was definitely a “sink or swim” type of ordeal.

Thankfully, I think I was able to swim.

Either that or I had a life jacket or some water wings.

I will say that it’s definitely nice and rewarding to have a job that you care deeply about, and one you spent lots of hours in school working towards. I couldn’t necessarily say that about previous jobs that I’ve had.

It’s funny talking to my former classmates who are still on campus at UW and they say, “You’re an editor? Seriously?”

On a slightly different note, I’ve had the opportunity to talk journalism and whatnot with many different people over the last few months.

Sen. Marko Liias used to help out here at the Beacon.

Executive Director of the Institute of Flight Jeff Van Dyck has experience with newspapers and printing as well.

My favorite experience came last week when a young middle school student from Edmonds came to visit the office with his mom.

Aaron delivers the Edmonds Beacon and has even started his own publication where he writes about the neighborhood cats.

The lucky people on his route not only get the fantastic work of Brian Soergel, the Edmonds Beacon editor, but they get Aaron’s latest work as well.

It was fun talking to him about writing and photography, and he got to meet Dan Aznoff, the Mill Creek Beacon editor and also see InDesign, where we build our papers each week.

I loved seeing his eyes light up when he got to look at old copies of the Beacon. He got a kick out of looking over our proof sheets.

I invited him back on a Tuesday afternoon when I’m in production, so hopefully he takes me up on that offer!

I’m going to wind this column down. I have other things I need to be writing, so here are just some of things I’ve learned over the last half-year:

  • People love the Police Beat: They love it even more than I initially thought they did.
  • People also love the Around Town Section: It’s a shame sometimes I have to choose one over the other.
  • Many small events have large turnouts: Small things like Boo Bash at Rosehill or the Easter Egg Hunt may seem like a small sort of event, but they get hundreds of people. I think that’s pretty cool.
  • Want a lot of likes on Facebook? Use the kids: I’m fairly certain some of our most-liked stories on social media are when we have Students of the Month/Quarter from Kamiak, Sno-Isle, and the Rotary Club. Nothing wrong with that.
  • The editorial staff likes sports: All four of us like sports and talking about them. That makes days more interesting for me.
  • I thought I was fairly well versed in AP Style: I was wrong.

Although the items listed above are fairly interesting (at least in my opinion), the most important thing I’ve learned is that if you wear a flannel shirt with a beanie, your boss will call you “Waldo” from that point on.

So from Waldo to all of you, thanks for reading and supporting our local paper. It’s been a cool six months to say the least.

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG


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