Six months ago, I stepped into the editor’s chair at the East Oregonian with a lot of expectations and hopes, and I can honestly say, I have not been disappointed.

I’ve learned a number of things in my first six months, chief among them that this is a great, newsy area.

Pendleton and its surrounding towns and counties are also a terrific place to live and work, and I feel pretty fortunate that I am in the editor’s chair. I’ve learned that the entire crew at the East Oregonian cares deeply about their town and their county, and I think that shows itself every day in our product.

I’ve learned our newspaper has a deep core of involved readers. I’ve learned that our newsroom staff is a dedicated bunch, eager to produce a viable news product every day.

I believe the future is not only bright for the East Oregonian but for our entire region as well.

All of this is good news, especially since the journalism landscape has changed so much over the past decade. The old paradigms that shaped our industry are either gone or beginning to fade. In many ways, our industry faces major upheaval and has for more than 15 years.

That’s why it is so encouraging to come to a newspaper that is tied so closely to its community.

That’s a good thing. But more work on our part needs to be done. We must do better, strive harder and endeavor to produce the best product possible.

I think we are already doing that, but our focus must not wane. Now, more than ever, the ability to depend on a trusted news source is crucial. In the era of “fake news” and a politically charged national environment, the ability for readers to be able to trust their news source gains in importance every day.

Building trust is never an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and, sometimes, mistakes. What I hope readers will see is we are committed to our task of furnishing the best journalism possible.

We may stub our toes from time to time, but I will take that as long as the effort, the desire, to be the best is there.

I’ve learned a lot in the past six months and I am eager to learn more in 2020. So far this has been a great experience. And I am pleased to be at the helm of a great paper in a great community.

———

Andrew Cutler is the editor of the East Oregonian.

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