Tyler Francke is the newest addition to the Woodburn Independent news team.
Francke is the Independents new general assignment reporter, and will mainly cover city government, crime and economic development.
Originally from Maine, Francke said he majored in journalism at the University of Maine because hes always been a writer and was interested in learning new skills. He worked on the college newspaper and eventually became the opinion editor.
I really liked that team environment, he recalled. I came out of that feeling like journalism was in my blood. I knew thats what I wanted to do.
He made his way to Branson, Mo., where his wife decided to go to college, and became a reporter for the Branson Tri-Lakes News. There, he covered crime, government, entertainment, business and even some sports. He also received some awards during the two years he was there, including first place for best news story in both 2012 and 2013 from the Missouri Press Associations Better Newspaper Contest. In 2012, he was also one of several to win the MPAs Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award of Merit.
After his wife finished college, they moved to Oregon, where she grew up, and he took a job with the Newberg Graphic in July 2012. There he covered city government, arts and entertainment, and business. Although he left a year later to pursue various projects, hes kept the journalism fire alive by freelancing for Pamplin Media Group newspapers.
Now Francke, whose first novel, Reoriented, is being published in May, is ready to settle down again in a full-time news reporting role. He said he is excited to be a general assignment reporter in Woodburn.
I like telling peoples stories, and I think community newspapers tell the story of a town in a way that you dont find anywhere else, he said. I think (Woodburn) is unique. Its really diverse an interesting mix of rural elements and urban elements and different voices.
Franckes personal interests also reflect the rural and the urban, as he lives on a farm, where his family raises sheep, chickens and goats, and he maintains a blog.
The staff at the Independent is thrilled to have Francke on board.
Tyler brings a great combination of enthusiasm and experience to our staff, said Publisher Nikki DeBuse. I think he will be a great fit with the community.