Shafter Press editor speaks at Kiwanis Club
June 10, 2021 | View PDF
Editor of the Shafter Press Jamie Stewart recently spoke at the Kiwanis Club luncheon meeting.
With the relaxation of some of the restraints regarding the pandemic, the meeting was held in person, with a portion of the club attending with others joining by Zoom. Kiwanis President Phillip Jimenez welcomed everyone and member Colleen Diltz introduced Stewart, who began his tenure with the Shafter Press in the fall of 2011.
Stewart told the attendees the new office location has made it easier for residents to visit. The new location is on Central Avenue next to the Brannon and Powell Accounting firm.
Due to the pandemic, the editors of the newspaper, Stewart for the Shafter Press, and Toni DeRosa for Wasco Tribune, have been doing the majority of their work from home.
The pandemic also made the papers need to combine, becoming one newspaper in its current format. Stewart told the Kiwanis Club members the feedback has been good on the change with coverage that includes both communities.
Stewart said his first visit to the Shafter Press office was in 1980. He was a junior in high school and the paper was looking for a sports writer from the high school. Stewart got the job and was paid 25 cents an inch for his stories.
“I was hooked after that,” he said. “I loved to write and to get paid for it, it was just awesome.”
In 2011, Stewart had been writing about high school football when he was called to interview for the editor position.
“I just love my job and I think that I am very fortunate to be doing something that I love to do,” he said.
Stewart also told the group that he got to understand what kind of influence that the newspaper can have on a community.
“When I first started with the paper, I learned that the paper can inform the residents of the community about what is going on in their city. A lot of the time everyone is in the dark about what is being done in their city,” he said. “When residents get involved with their city, and how it is ran, the effects can be great.”
Stewart also thanked Stan Wilson and the group who has made the Shafter Press possible.
“Wilson and the rest of the group have been so great and I am so grateful for them in letting me realize a dream,” he said.