From left, regional editor Carrie Rodriguez, senior editor Samantha Pak and sports editor Andy Nystrom.

From left, regional editor Carrie Rodriguez, senior editor Samantha Pak and sports editor Andy Nystrom.

Mercer Island Reporter joins forces with Eastside papers to serve you better

You may have noticed a new style in this week’s Reporter. A sleek black masthead and even a few new elements.

But now that you’ve made it as far as the opinion page, there is also something else — an even more significant change.

Look below.

In the staff box, you will notice new names, and a lot of them.

That’s because in addition to the snazzy external restyling of your community newspaper, we’ve also reshaped it internally.

We are taking all of Sound Publishing’s Eastside reporting counterparts and joining forces, working in tandem to make us greater than the sum of our parts.

With this new approach, I am proud to introduce myself as the new regional editor of our seven Eastside newspapers, including the Mercer Island Reporter.

Joining me in this great shift is senior editor Samantha Pak and sports editor Andy Nystrom. Pak was previously the editor of the Bothell-Kenmore and Kirkland Reporter newspapers, and Nystrom was the editor of the Redmond Reporter.

You will also continue to see familiar faces in your community, including reporter Katie Metzger. You may also see our Eastside cohort of staff writers out and about in the community. These reporters include Kailan Manandic, Aaron Kunkler, Shaun Scott, Raechel Dawson and Nicole Jennings. Each reporter will be specializing in specific beats in your community; for the specific breakdown and contact information for each reporter, please look at the staff box below.

In addition, we have also added a new King County News Desk whose staff will contribute stories of regional interest to our paper, as well as a new podcast, Seattleland.

So why the new reorganization? Most of us have heard the national commentary surrounding the news industry that it is struggling amid economic and technological change. And even though community newspapers are impacted by these changes to a lesser extent than bigger news outlets, we are still not immune from them. These types of industry changes required us to refocus the way we achieve our mission — to deliver local news to our readers.

These changes will enhance our mission by allowing our staff to focus on many of the important aspects that make the Island the unique community that it is.

So what does all this mean for our readers?

We will continue to provide hyperlocal coverage that is important to you. We will continue to share with you your favorite columnists and other features that make you excited to read this paper every week. You can still submit your photos of Girl Scouts, an announcement of your son’s Eagle Scout award, a letter to the editor or other items that you want to share with the community.

We will continue to be your local newspaper, with in-depth reporting of issues in your community. That mission will never change.

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