Kristen Hebestreet knows some things — like farms, rural communities and the people who live there. That’s one reason she’s excited about being our new correspondent covering Morgan County.
Kristen is an Ogden native and an experienced newspaper journalist. She has three bachelor’s degrees — anthropology and communications from the University of Utah and English from Weber State University. Plus, she said she’s “one test short” of a master’s in English.
She also has 17 years of experience as a reporter, most of it in the Appalachia area of the southeast, working at newspapers in Bristol, Va., and in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tenn.
In Bristol and Kingsport, she covered both farm country and coal fields. For 14 years, she covered hunting and fishing in Johnson City.
“I was hired specifically for that job,” she said. “They thought it would be easier to teach a reporter about hunting and fishing than vice versa.”
And if you want, she’s more than willing to tell you about the time she went on a wild hog hunt and killed a Russian boar with a knife.
Kristen also caught “a lot of big fish” during her time on the outdoors beat.
She won 17 reporting and photo awards for her work in Johnson City.
She has been covering Morgan County for two weeks and loves it. She sees herself as a good fit.
On the personal side, she drives a pickup and is the proud owner of two big dogs and a side-by-side shotgun.
Professionally, “I know rural, I know farms, and I know the problems that rapidly expanding areas face with development. It’s really familiar territory, journalistically, for me.”
She has also hit it off with the residents.
“I walked into (Morgan city), smelled a dairy farm and said, ‘Awesome,’ ” she said.
“You talk to people about what’s going on, and they say, ‘Oh, I don’t know anything,’ but by the time we’re done, they’ve come up with two or three story ideas.”
Kristen has already written several articles from Morgan County, and we’re looking forward to more.
In coming weeks, I’ll write about several other correspondents we’ve added to cover area communities.
• ENDORSEMENT: A caller early this week wanted to know which candidates the paper was endorsing in the upcoming election.
When I told her I didn’t know and that, if I did, I wouldn’t tell her, she wasn’t a happy camper.
But it’s true. Editorial endorsement decisions, like all decisions about editorials, are made by our six-person editorial board.
The first that the newsroom knows about the paper’s endorsements is when the editorial, endorsement or otherwise, is published, in print or online.
That honors the long-standing practice of separating the news reporting staff from the opinion staff.
Dave Greiling is managing editor of the Standard-Examiner. He may be reached at 801-625-4224 or via email at email@example.com.