The Auto Reporter wasn’t always what it is today. It started as a column and has grown into more than I could have hoped for.
I began writing The Auto Reporter in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter papers. My boss knew that the pay was abysmal, but we were both dedicated to journalism. We loved covering the small towns and becoming trusted sources within the communities.
I never expected the newspaper gig to live long, but I always hoped that The Auto Reporter would live on past the column phase. And we have. Today, The Auto Reporter is a well-read online outlet that has garnered local support and – dare I say – fans.
(The emails and messages I’ve received involving the word “fan” have tickled me to no end. Thank you for your encouragement and support!)
I’ve got to give huge props to the Northwest Automotive Press Association – NWAPA – I was awarded their Automotive Journalist scholarship while at the UW and was invited out to meet the group. Those few hours spent at Mudfest 2014 shaped my future. It made me yearn to be, not just a good journalist, but a great automotive journalist. They opened my eyes to the possibility, the potential future.
Since then, I’ve had mini-epiphanies. I’ve warmed up VW Golf-Rs for Tanner Foust while tootling along at Laguna Seca (where I also got my first bit of race track-borne barfing – not in car thank god). I’ve driven Acura NSXs and McLarens, and then later commented in agreement or disagreement with Jeremy Clarkson videos. This has been my dream come true, but yet – I want more.
But, we are what we are today in large part thanks to you readers. Its the dedication of those who send me emails about important local news, suggest shows on Facebook, connect with me about important issues in messenger… And we want to continue this, but with more. More everything.
And when I say more, I do mean more. The Auto Reporter is my baby, my dreams, and my future. I want this to grow into something everyone, everywhere can recognize. The next steps for The Auto Reporter are comprehensive.
We’ve already started accepting freelance articles from journalists (or those in training) from Washington, Oregon, and California. You will start seeing stories of enthusiasts not only in your very local communities, but at events and shows up and down the Pacific coast – from LA to BC – sharing in the glory that is our collective automotive madness.
Most importantly, we want to keep The Auto Reporter free for readers – because no one should ever pay for journalism – and so we hope to back this venture off advertising. It’s been the backbone of papers large and small for neigh on 100 years and is successfully used by many publications still today.
Print will also herald the return of the Car Center Folds so that all people have equal access to quality teenage bedroom or garage wall art. Because cool cars on walls is the American Dream, right?
But we can’t do it without your support, your readership, or your stories. Much of the content on this site is about you – the tuners, the customizers, the racer car drivers, the enthusiasts (whether stance or classic), the off-roaders and the on-track’ers.
You PNW Automotive Fiends are what make The Auto Reporter special. It’s your stories. It’s your cars. The Auto Reporter is YOU. Just like any community newspaper is a reflection of the community, The Auto Reporter is a mirror of your efforts.
Its those of you that dedicate weekends to helping a friend work on their drift machine, that pull together to raise money for charity, who race for causes or race to lend a helping hand – you are a truly exceptional community that I’m privileged to be part of.
We hope you find as much pride in reading your stories as I have had in putting them together. To the future, my friends! 😊
Your Friendly Neighborhood Auto Journalist,
Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Lead-Journalist, bad Videographer, Sucky Social Media-ite, Dreamer