After a lengthy search for the right candidate, The Daily World landed a near-local guy who believes in community journalism.
Judging by what people like to see in their local paper, the fit seems right.
Meet Allen Leister, who was born and raised in Shelton. He believes in the importance of local journalism. He wants to add to The Daily World’s mission to provide it, and to do so in a responsible, ethical way.
“There’s a lot of local stuff that doesn’t get covered properly and everyone that lives out here faces issues,” he said. “They need their stories heard and people need to be aware of what’s going on.”
Leister, who will cover Montesano, Elma, McCleary, and other municipalities east of Aberdeen, knows what living in a small town is like, and is looking forward to covering small town life.
“I’m really happy to be working on, and (reporting) on city council meetings and school board meetings,” Leister said. “I want people to be aware of what goes on with the people who they elect to run their cities, or the people they also elect to educate their children. I want people to be informed of what goes on around them that affects them on a day-to-day basis.”
He knows parents don’t have time to go to every school board meeting. He realizes taxpayers don’t always have time to head to every local council meeting. He wants to make sure they stay informed. It’s why he came to The Daily World.
“My job isn’t to tell people what’s right or wrong,” Leister said. “My job is to tell people what’s going on and to let them decide on that.”
Leister, who graduated in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Production from Washington State University, comes to Aberdeen after working as a sales representative for Hoodsport Winery, in Hoodsport. He spent a lot of time searching for the right journalism fit while he worked at the winery.
“I was applying to different journalism jobs — print, radio, and broadcast — pretty much all across Washington, and even (throughout) the United States,” Leister said. “My girlfriend (Madison,) she had mentioned that there was a newspaper in Aberdeen called The Daily World, and that I should apply to it.”
Leister said he looked into the company and saw the open position.
“And so I decided I would try and see if they were interested in my talents and so far, here we are,” Leister said.
Leister, while a newshound at heart, also loves his time off.
“I’m a big video game advocate,” he said. “I love playing video games, especially with my friends and my girlfriend, as well. I really enjoy getting out into nature and exploring the peninsula.”
Leister said lately, he’s been getting into stocks and economics. But, he also sees himself as a “Big Kid.”
“We only have one life, and if you live every day basically just always worried about work, you’re gonna be wasting it,” he said. “You might as well have some fun.”
One thing he’d like to show people about the field of journalism is that, to him, it is a business of providing truth and providing factual-based evidence.
“There’s a lot of people out there who portray themselves as journalists and use assumptions, and (who) are looking to promote their agendas,” he said. “That’s not my job. My job is primarily (to) relay information that’s being told to me so I can tell it to (the reader). I don’t want to tell people what’s right or what’s wrong with anything, but I want people to understand, ‘This is what goes on.’”
Enjoy his work while he’s here, because part of him also wants to explore outside the Evergreen State.
“There are parts of me that will want to experience different chapters of my life across the United States,” Leister said. “But for right now, this is my home and I’d like to be able to at least have some roots into it, in terms of my work, and kind of build up my brand in the place I call home.”