Here at the Chieftain, we’ve got a small but scrappy staff. We’re hoping to make that staff just a little larger.

We are on the lookout for a sports reporter. Someone who is excited to show up for Friday night football. Someone who wants to know what the score is, who made the great plays and which local teams are taking their game to the next level. Someone who is eager to share that information with the rest of the community.

Could that be you?

Do you write well? Can you take photos? Do you like talking to coaches?

Newspapers (and news collection in general), is this whole ecosystem. Local papers turn up stories in their communities by following tips, showing up at public meetings or local games and examining public records. Sometimes those stories are picked up by larger regional outlets, and then sometimes those stories get picked up by big national outlets. Sustained local coverage of issues can help national outlets pick up on larger trends.

The New York Times is not sending reporters to Socorro City Council meetings, or Magdalena basketball games. El Defensor Chieftain is (It’s usually me in fact at the Socorro City Council meetings. John Larson is usually on top of those Magdalena Village Board meetings. You could be the person who chronicles the basketball games).

This ecosystem of news also flows the other way. The Albuquerque Journal runs stories on national and international topics produced by larger publications, and here at the Chieftain we run stories produced by outlets that cover the state of New Mexico more broadly, including the Journal, and nonprofit newsrooms Source NM and Searchlight New Mexico.

But local news occupies a unique position, in that we get to chronicle life in a very specific community. From basketball games to Coop meetings, to Chile Festivals to snow days to protests, we get to be there. We get to connect friends and neighbors and families with our coverage. One great perk of journalism is that you get to be the witness in the room where something is happening, on behalf of everyone who couldn’t be there.

We get to create that first draft of history.

In Socorro, high school athletics are a significant part of community life. In this community, athletics are an opportunity for local kids to be part of a team, to gain statewide recognition for their accomplishments and in some cases to reach for scholarship opportunities that build their future. Someone needs to chronicle those achievements and tell the story of those struggles. That person could be you.

I have been fortunate to get to step into writing our (mostly) weekly Athlete of the Week Q&A series for the last few months. I can tell you that the recognition from the paper for these outstanding athletes and students, is something they get excited about, and is something that families and communities get excited about. It is so rewarding to give local kids the recognition they deserve for all of their hard work and discipline.

Do you want to join our team?