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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Introducing ourselves

A note to readers

This quarter, The Front is turning a new page. Our notepads are out and we’re ready to listen. A blank notepad with a hand poised with a pen, ready to jot down something inspirational. // Photo by Nate Sanford

Hello, all,

First, we want to introduce ourselves. We are Nate Sanford and Lauren Gallup, respectively the editor-in-chief and the managing editor for The Front this quarter. You can read more about us in our bios below. 

We wanted to take a moment to make some exciting announcements for the publication. The first of which is our new name! Well, not a fully new name. After several years of discussion with students, faculty and alumni, our publication’s name will officially change to “The Front,” a nickname we have long gone by. The name reflects our commitment to becoming a reliable news source for all of Bellingham, as well as the Western community — and, now, a search for our coverage won’t send readers toward the World War I battlefield. 

With this new name, we are still The Western Front you have come to know and respect — and you can still count on us to be on the Front of community and campus news.

Along with our new name, we are in the process of getting a new website. This is an exciting time for us to be designing a site that is more user-friendly and matches The Front’s transition to a digital-first newsroom. We’re proud to continue previous editors’ commitment to serving consistent, daily community news for Bellingham and Western. In the past year, Front reporters and editors have published 532 stories, including the voices of more than 1,500 of our neighbors, and we’re excited to build on that this quarter. We’re looking forward to the unveiling, and to sharing news with you here and on our social channels. You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook

Thanks for reading,

-Nate and Lauren

The Front’s new logo, which will be used on the new website to launch later this quarter. // Graphic created by Daniel McMorrow.

Nate Sanford, spring 2021 editor-in-chief

Nate Sanford poses with WWU property that he and numerous other editors have defaced. // Photo by Izzie Lund, winter 2021 editor-in-chief

Hi! I’m Nate Sanford. I’m going to be the editor-in-chief this spring. My pronouns are he/him. I like playing music and reading things that are less than 2,000 words. During my time at Western I’ve reported on LGBTQ+ discrimination, lead in Western’s water, student worker layoffs, naked runners and a whole lot more. This is my last year as a news/editorial major at Western. After graduation I’m hoping to spend more time on trains. 

I got into journalism for noble reasons that involve interrogating institutions and holding power to account, but also because it’s just fun. The work is exhausting and stressful but it’s literally never boring. It also feels increasingly necessary. We’re entering spring quarter on the precipice of near-normal. Things are getting better, but it’s more important than ever that we have people asking tough questions and paying attention to what gets left behind. 

Most people know what a reporter does, but the role of editor-in-chief is a bit more mysterious. You know that guy in the Spider-Man cartoons who is always smoking a cigar and yelling at Peter Parker to get him more pictures of Spider-Man? He’s an editor-in-chief. It’s a caricature with a grain of truth to it, but in reality the job is much less dramatic. The work mainly involves collaborating with other editors, editing reporter’s stories and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom. (That said, my DMs are open to anyone with photos of local vigilantes). 

Lauren and I have a lot of really cool ideas we’re hoping to roll out this quarter. There’s a new website, podcast, and other exciting things on the way. We can’t wait to show you. 

You can find me on Twitter @sanford_nate and at natesanford.westernfront@gmail.com 

Lauren Gallup, spring 2021 managing editor

Lauren Gallup is a former theatre kid – an alarmingly common trend with student journalists. // Photo courtesy of Lauren Gallup.

Hi! I’m Lauren Gallup and I’m thrilled to be The Front’s managing editor this spring quarter! As a fourth-year news/editorial major and theatre minor, I am a perfect example of the theater kid-to-journalist pipeline. 

Why did I decide to go into journalism? I have always loved storytelling and the power it has to build empathy and understanding in our communities. These values drive everything I do as a journalist. I am always trying to capture the magic of holding space for one another’s truths. Also, I spent a lot of unknowingly consuming the news as a kid, thinking that’s what everyone did, and so some may say, its fate I became a journalist.

In my time at Western, I’ve had the chance to speak with survivor advocates on Whatcom County’s handling of sexual assault cases, report on potential barriers to running for office in Bellingham, and ask big questions of Western, like why they’re ready to go back to in-person this fall.

Overall, I’ve gotten to learn more about the city I live in and the university I attend. That’s one of the things I love most about journalism, we seek to find what matters to our communities, and through it, we learn too. 

I feel fortunate to be inheriting the newsroom from incredible editors, who have done amazing work transitioning The Front to a fully virtual newsroom. In my work at The Front, being more transparent with our journalism practices, (like why we ask every source for their pronouns; I use she/her), and responding better to our community’s needs are at the forefront of the work I’ll be doing. The most important thing we can do as journalists is listen and that means hearing from you — send us news tips to eic.westernfront@gmail.com or letters to the editors (that’s us) to westernfront.opeditor@gmail.com.

Follow along this quarter as we do this work for our community — my Twitter handle is @TheLaurenGallup and one of my many goals this quarter is to actually use it.


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