Raechel Dawson says good bye and thank you to Kirkland | Dawson

Former reporter for the Kirkland Reporter Raechel Dawson. - Reporter file photo
Former reporter for the Kirkland Reporter Raechel Dawson.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Oh, Kirkland. Boy, did you teach me.

Nearly two years ago I joined the Kirkland Reporter newsroom fresh out of college, naive, hopeful and “hungry” as I put it so eloquently in my first (and only) editorial.

I was determined to bring light to all voices, no matter ethnicity, sexual orientation, political standpoint, creed, income level, hair color, brand of shoe, etcetera.

I tried. I really put my heart into this community and, for the most part, I think I succeeded in delivering full news coverage that went beyond the surface level.

And I plan to do just that in my next adventure and chapter in life.

On May 2, I was offered another reporting job of which I have accepted and will begin in mid-May at the Federal Way Mirror, also owned by Sound Publishing, Inc.

Now, if you’re a regular reader of the Kirkland Reporter, you’ll remember the Federal Way Mirror is where my former editor Carrie Rodriguez transferred to as well.

The two cities are quite similar in that both have dedicated, passionate individuals who care a lot, and I mean A LOT, about the area they live. How could I report on a city that didn’t have their fair share of citizen groups? (I’m talking about you, protestors of Potalla Village, Lake Street Place and Parkplace, East of Market Moms, neighborhood associations, Kingsgate name petitioners, I could go on.)

It’s clear Kirklanders love their city, that much is true.

Throwing aside the minute details - I recently moved back to Renton after my Bellevue apartment lease expired - the Federal Way Mirror will give me more challenging opportunities that I’m nervous, yet more than excited, to take on.

In reporting for the Kirkland Reporter, I’ve cried with sources over their family deaths. I’ve listened to chatter about the marijuana stories I’ve written while sitting at a Kirkland City Council meeting, only to cover something entirely different. I’ve been criticized for my reporting but also immensely praised, some of the nicest words I’ve ever heard.

I love the people of Kirkland and I always wrote stories with you all in mind. I’ve never lived in Kirkland, and have nothing to gain from them - the stories were all for you. So that you, the Kirklander, could stay connected to your community that I know you love so much.

It is with this heavy heart that I say good bye, but also thank you. Thank you, Kirkland, for teaching me about what it means to be a community, a city and a reporter. I hope that you continue to stay passionate about the issues that matter and to never stop reading the one newspaper, the Kirkland Reporter, that strives to connect the city and people together.

Raechel Dawson has worked for the Kirkland Reporter since July of 2012.

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