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McNeal joins staff of Globe, Times
MARYSVILLE — Jake McNeal is a newcomer to Marysville and Arlington, but in many ways his new hometowns remind him of the ones where he grew up in Oregon.
“It’s a lot like Beaverton,” said McNeal, who recently stepped in as the new reporter for The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times. “It’s very spacious with a lot of smaller businesses. I’m used to this kind of community. It’s comfortable.”
McNeal graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene just this year, where he worked at the Daily Emerald student newspaper covering features such as co-ops and “green living.” McNeal was drawn to writing as a career because it’s an area that’s suited to his skills, and he’s thrilled to be covering local sports because it fits his interests.
“I’ve been writing for a long time,” said McNeal, a tall, lanky young man who’s quick to smile. “It’s one thing I’m good at, so in my sophomore year at school, I decided to expand on that. Being able to tie my writing into sports is perfect for me.”
Although McNeal is a nearly lifelong writer, journalism has taught him to tailor his writing style to the needs of news reporting.
“It’s less about constructing a narrative,” McNeal said. “You’re finding facts. It’s not about your opinions. You’re going out and talking to people and living and recreating their stories.”
McNeal hopes to reflect the spirit of the community and amplify its voices.
“I want to get people’s words out there and bring them to life,” McNeal said. “My biggest challenge will be familiarizing myself with all the identities in the community, but I’ll be going out to boards and meetings and events to meet people and establish contacts in the community.”
McNeal is excited and grateful to be working at The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times for his first post-graduate job, especially in the current economy.
“It’s a dream come true,” McNeal said. “I watch a lot of ESPN and college football, so I’m looking forward to covering local sporting events. Sports is my way of staying connected to the world. I liked playing sports when I was a kid, but I didn’t have the killer instinct to really excel at it. It’s great that I get to write about the kids who do now, though.”