Meet the newsroom: New reporter joins the Journals

The Journals are where I learned to tell stories.

I interned here back in 2004 as a college student, relatively clueless but hungry to write. The editors, instead of assigning intern tasks, let me wander the streets and return with stories.

On a recluse magician, on a semi-abandoned building with a curious television, on others I no longer remember.

This is where I learned to report. To write. And most importantly, where I fell for storytelling.

I returned to Southwest in summer 2007 after two years away. I lived in Winona in the southeast corner of this state, where I wrote for the Winona Daily News. It was a delicate balance, reporting on and living in a community. I loved it. I couldn’t see having it any other way. I have that again at the Journals. Couldn’t be happier.

A bit about me: I live in Whittier, where I keep a Journal-sponsored blog, 26thandLyndale.com, chronicling stories of the intersection. I live the dream by playing in a few local bands and run a small music nonprofit called Jazz is NOW!. I spend the other 14 minutes of my weekly free time blowing paychecks on bicycles and books.

What lured me to journalism, above all else, was the power of narrative writing, and I hope to do plenty of that kind of writing for the Journals. Before I left the Daily News, I finished a nine-part serial narrative entitled “A Year to Live,” which chronicled the last year of a terminally ill woman’s life and her choice to die at home. I’m usually not much of a self-promoter but I’m kind of proud of this one. The full series is online here: www.winonadailynews.com/year_to_live/01ayeartolive.txt

A bit about what I do here: I’ll be reporting on crime, business and development in Southwest, as well as on five neighborhoods: Kingfield, Lyndale, ECCO, CARAG, and East Harriet. I’ll also write occasional features on personalities, places, events, just about anything and everything Southwest.

I’m here to serve you. We all are. You own this paper as much as anyone does, and without you, without your activism and ideas and experiences and lives, well, we wouldn’t exist. So here’s the thing:

Feel free to check in with news and feature ideas, suggestions, rants, stream-of-consciousness emails, just to talk, whatever. And if you ever feel like you’re annoying me or anyone else you’re feeding things to, remember that we love having more stories than we could ever write.

I look forward to meeting you, to telling your story.

Reach Brian Voerding at bvoerding@mnpubs.com or 436-5082.