A note from the Southwest Journal’s new editor

Zac Farber is the editor of the Southwest Journal. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

I want to introduce myself as the new editor of the Southwest Journal and ask for your help as I learn how best to cover the community.

I’m a Washington state native who moved to Minnesota in 2006. I’ve worked in journalism for the past nine years and, for the past seven, have been living in the West Calhoun neighborhood.

I am passionate about the mission of community newspapers and think they are one of the basic building blocks of a democratic society — a space where citizens can debate ideas and grapple with facts and check what they read against what they see. I believe the Southwest Journal’s balanced coverage and nuanced stories have been essential to the strength and vibrancy of this community. I hope to continue this tradition of excellence and ensure the paper is radically focused on Southwest Minneapolis and the stories of its residents.

This is where I can use your help. What should I know about your neighborhood’s history, your child’s school, your friend’s non-profit, your house of worship, your corner hardware store, your favorite barber, or your local mystery? Do you know someone working to fix a fractured or broken system? Should we profile the larger-than-life character who lives down the block? Is there something in your community you wish you knew more about?

I’m interested in bringing new and diverse voices into the pages of the Southwest Journal. If you feel your stories have been marginalized or underrepresented in traditional media outlets, please reach out and we can discuss opportunities for writing a story or a column.

I want to thank former editors David Brauer, Sarah McKenzie and Dylan Thomas, as well as Michelle Bruch and the many other Southwest Journal veterans and community members who have already taken the time to answer my questions and offer guidance. I am thrilled by the opportunity to join this paper’s small, talented staff. And I am especially grateful to the publishers, Janis Hall and Terry Gahan, and general manager, Zoe Gahan, for trusting me with the stewardship of a publication that has accrued so much meaning, both in their own lives and in the lives of their readers.

As I find my bearings in this new role, I want to hear from you! Please email me at [email protected] or message me on Twitter (@zacfarber), and let me know how you see your community and how the Southwest Journal can help tell your stories.

The Southwest Journal’s new editor, Zac Farber, will be at Royal Grounds Coffee in Kingfield from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. Stop by and introduce yourself!