Next week I’ll be taking on a new role here at the Chieftain as the editor.

I have been a staff writer at the paper working alongside Caitie and John since May. I was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico and got my bachelor’s at UNM. It has been bittersweet to say goodbye to our former editor Caitie while looking forward to this new challenge.

Socorro means help, and I hope to be of service to this community by covering local issues that matter to you. I’ve only lived in Socorro a few months, but so far from the coffee shop to the laundromat, I’ve felt very welcomed. I’m excited to get to know the community better and learn more about what makes this town tick. I’m also eager to learn more about the many small rural communities in our county and make sure we’re telling those stories too.

In the short time I’ve been here, I have been grateful for the chance to talk to local farmers about drought, to profile some long-lasting local businesses, and to learn more about everything from community gardening to suicide prevention. I’m looking forward to finding more local news stories to cover here in Socorro.

Journalism is a crucial part of keeping a community informed, holding public officials accountable and chronicling the events that shape a town. At the core, journalism is storytelling, and I want us to tell the stories that impact your life.

Newspapers are a business, but they also in many ways belong to the communities they serve. A newspaper cannot exist without people who are willing to talk to reporters and share their stories. And of course, without readers, there is no paper.

Our paper is made by the people who work in our office on Winkler Street. But it is also made by the locals who contribute columns, the people who submit letters to the editor, the businesses that purchase ad space in our pages, the people who send us photos that we can run alongside stories, and the people who are willing to sit down with us for interviews so that we can share their stories.

So please feel welcome to come in and say hi. If you have a news tip, give me a call. If you have events for our community calendar, send them my way. If there is a pressing issue in your neighborhood that needs to be covered, let us know. We are here to tell your stories.




Cathy Cook, Editor, El Defensor Chieftain