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Editor Matt Naber is your new neighbor
by Matt Naber
Apr 10, 2013 | 1216 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The new editor of The Progress, Matt Naber, sits with Jack Hanna at a wild bison habitat restoration benefit in Bigfork, Mont. last summer. Naber's journalism career has taken him as far north as the arctic circle and now as far south as Live Oak County.
The new editor of The Progress, Matt Naber, sits with Jack Hanna at a wild bison habitat restoration benefit in Bigfork, Mont. last summer. Naber's journalism career has taken him as far north as the arctic circle and now as far south as Live Oak County.
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I have been chased by moose in Wyoming’s Wind River mountain range, dealt with wolves on an island in Alaska, spent more time than I care to admit clinging to bucking broncs, and a little over a week ago I was shoveling snow in northwestern Montana’s mountains.

Now I’m thawing out and warming up to my new position as editor of The Progress.

I grew up in southeastern Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa where I used to be accustomed to the heat. Now it’s just a matter of readjusting.

The way I got into journalism is kind of a funny story; it started when I was nine years old with photography projects in 4-H that often won blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair.

I officially started my journalism career while I was still in high school, writing for both my school and hometown newspapers. I continued to write for my hometown newspaper while in college and got my first full-time reporting job in Pinedale, Wyo., right after graduation.

While in Wyoming my beat focused on oil and gas, local government, and my favorite topic, rodeos.

It wasn’t long before I got it in my head that I needed to go to Alaska. This wild move was heavily influenced by reading too much National Geographic and because I really enjoy exploring new places. Unfortunately, the lack of sunlight and $10 per box of Captain Crunch didn’t jive well with me, and I went back to the Rockies after a few months.

My most recent job was as editor of two newspapers in northwest Montana, the Bigfork Eagle and West Shore News, at the same time. Each newspaper was a weekly like my previous ones, but as editor I got to make all the decisions and collaborate on coverage, photography and design with my reporter for more than a year and a half.

As much as I loved my job in Montana, the community wasn’t quite the right fit for me since I’m 25 years old and single but was living in an unincorporated village of mostly retirees and wealthy seasonal residents.

An unincorporated village means exactly what it sounds like – it’s not official. There was no city government, mayor or police force.

This was something I loved about the town because it meant the locals rallied together and made sure the job was done. There was no waiting for approval, it was just people pitching in and doing it.

I learned a lot from my previous job, most of which you will see in upcoming editions of The Progress. But, a change in the newspaper isn’t the only impact I want to have.

I also learned how important it is to get involved during my time reporting on the locals up north volunteering to keep the gears turning. This is the other impact I want to have.

But don’t worry, stories stemming from my constant craving for excitement will inevitably follow. The way I ended up in Three Rivers almost guarantees it.

While in college I was heavily involved in Hapkido, a Korean martial art of self-defense. And now a couple of my friends from the Hapkido club teach advanced mathematics at Texas Lutheran University and University of Texas at Austin; they told me how great the area is, and as usual, they are right.

I’ve only been here for a little over a week, and I can already tell that the people are extremely friendly and helpful, and opportunities for excitement and good food are equally plentiful.
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