Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Magnolia’

As editor, Joe Veyera does it all for Seattle weekly newspaper

By William Stone
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Joe Veyera is the editor-in-chief at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News. He also doubles as the primary feature writer and photographer.

After all, he is the only one on staff.

Though the Queen Anne & Magnolia News is part of a slightly larger group of suburban Seattle papers operated by Pacific Publishing, the papers operate with a tiny staff.

When Veyera was hired by Pacific Publishing four months after he graduated from the University of Washington, three staffers, two editors and a reporter, worked across the four papers.

Veyera

Veyera has been the editor of the Queen Anne & Magnolia News for two years and during that time has had to use his full repertoire of journalism skills.

“We were all stretched pretty thin then, and that’s still the case now,” Veyera said.

Having the skills to do anything he needs to be able to is key for Veyera in his day-to-day job.

“When I was in college, I had at least one professor who was very adamant to all of us that we needed to know how to do everything. You’ve got to know how to write and take photos and record audio and do design and all that,” Veyera said. “I kind of scoffed at the idea at the time, I was like ‘What role is there where you have to do all of that all the time?’ And I found it. I found exactly the role.”

As his high school paper’s editor, Joe felt intrigued by journalism. He took that intrigue to the University of Washington where he covered news, sports, and ultimately became the editor-in-chief of the school paper. At The Daily, he had a full staff so there’s been some adjusting to do.

The Queen Anne & Magnolia News is a weekly paper, which means Veyera has to have the whole thing wrapped up on Monday so it can be published on Wednesday.

He takes Monday to lay everything out and make sure all the content is where it needs to be. He does the printing in-house so that process is relatively simple.

After Monday’s print deadline, he uses Tuesday to plan out the next edition, but usually he doesn’t get the template for the next week’s edition until Thursday or sometimes Friday so some weeks he gets Wednesday as somewhat of a day off.

Even with the slower pace of the weekly paper, Veyera acknowledges some challenges.

“There have been instances where I’ve had to rush stories out just because I need to fill the space. I have basically everything I need, but it’s not as polished as I’d like it to be,” he said. “You’ve got this 16 or 20 page paper every single week. You know it’s coming.  You have to make sure that it’s going to be filled, and sometimes that leaves you with not the best content.”

To make the content as high quality as he can, Veyera has one rule he likes to follow.

“I rarely end up doing features or profiles that are based on phone call interviews,” he said. “In general, I’ve always found it best, you know, sitting down with someone in person over coffee, for instance, ends up giving you a much better idea of who they are and what they’re trying to do or what their business is, and I think they also appreciate talking to someone in person.”

He’ll make the trek from North Seattle to the Queen Anne & Magnolia office on Thursday or Friday to check the template and start plugging the articles in.

It’s not always easy being a one-man crew, and the job wasn’t exactly what Veyera had in mind out of college. That said, he acknowledges now, it has blossomed into a position he has come to love.

“I think when I started, I might have answered differently and said I wouldn’t be there very long and then move on to the next thing,” he said. “Then when I look at the calendar and realize I’ve been there for two years, I guess that might change it a little bit. The way I’ve always looked at job openings and positions is that I’ll focus on things as they come along.”

It wasn’t his goal going into college to run The Daily, but it happened. Then he didn’t plan on having to use all the skills he learned in college but now he is.

“The chance was there and I felt ready to move into it,” he said.

For now, he’s content at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, covering the news of suburban Seattle and boosting his presence on social media so if an unexpected opportunity arises, he’ll be prepared for it.