Jerre Redecker: Heroin articles tell a story that must be told

jredecker@theolympian.comDecember 1, 2013 

Jerre Redecker, Senior Editor for The Olympian.


A week ago, we published a two-day package on the significance of the heroin problem in our area. I hope you had a chance to read it because, while it is scary to hear how easy it is to get heroin on Olympia streets and how prevalent its use is among young adults, knowledge is power. Anyone who has young adults in their lives should find a way to talk about this way-too-cheap, life-changing drug.

A project of this magnitude takes months of work, primarily for the lead reporter — in this case, Jeremy Pawloski — who must find sources from the health community, police and drug users. Early on, our visual staff starts planning the photographs and charts that will help tell the story.

While all this is going on, reporters who are not directly involved are pulling extra duty so the project reporter can pull together the information. Editors and page designers have their roles, too.

It’s tough to see this kind of news about a place we love, but it’s important. If the community wants to make changes, it must start with an understanding of the problem.

The stories ran in print Nov. 24-25. You can find them here  and here.

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We have some staff news to announce.

Olympia reporter Matt Batcheldor moved to Tennessee to be closer to family. He also began work for the Nashville Business Journal.

Starting this week in the Olympia beat is Andy Hobbs, a longtime South Sound journalist who comes to us from the Federal Way Mirror. Andy will be at City Council meetings, but he’s also apt to show up at a homeowners’ meeting or neighborhood event. He’s here to tell the stories that are important to people who live and work in Olympia. You’ll see him around town and also will be able to connect with him through social media.

We’re very pleased that longtime education reporter and Busy Mama columnist Lisa Pemberton is moving to full time. We’ve shifted things around a little so Lisa can keep track of county government, including development and transportation issues.

And on the sports front, Bob Dutton, veteran baseball writer for the Kansas City Star, will join our staff Dec. 9 as the beat writer for the Seattle Mariners.

Bob became a full-time baseball writer in 2000. He was president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2008 and serves on the committee that nominates players to the Hall of Fame.

I know you’ll find stories from all of them that will add to your day.

Thanks for reading.

Jerre Redecker is senior editor of The Olympian. Contact her at 360-754-5422 or

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