Former Nisqually Valley News Assistant Editor Megan Hansen is coming back to Yelm, this time as the paper’s editor.
The opening occurred when Publisher and Editor Michael Wagar was promoted to president of Lafromboise Communications, Inc., the parent company of the Nisqually Valley News which also owns two other newspapers, a printing division and a sign shop. Wagar will continue in his role as publisher of the Nisqually Valley News and also as publisher of The Chronicle headquartered in Centralia.
“When I realized we would need a new editor in Yelm, I immediately reached out to Megan and with much relief she agreed to come back home,” Wagar said. “She is perfect for this newspaper. She knows the issues, the people and is both respected and well liked by the community. Most important she understands journalism and its importance in today’s society.”
Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil agreed that Hansen will continue in the fine effort of quality journalism at the Nisqually Valley News, a newspaper which has been in existence since 1922.
“She always was a tremendous asset to the community and always involved with the community,” Stancil said upon hearing of Hansen’s upcoming job. “She was involved in nonprofit organizations during her work time and also during her personal time. The city is fortunate to have her return.
Hansen graduated from Central Washington University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism.
She began her journalism career that same summer, joining the Nisqually Valley News as a general assignment reporter.
For more than five years, Hansen covered almost every beat available from city government and business, to crime and education.
Partway through her tenure at the Nisqually Valley News, she was promoted to assistant editor and took on a greater involvement in building the publication’s special sections.
Hansen was actively involved in the Yelm Midday Lions Club, volunteering for various projects, including Prairie Days.
In October 2012, she accepted a job with Sound Publishing as an editor for a group of newspapers on Whidbey Island.
During her time on the island, Hansen managed two twice-weekly papers, the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record and a weekly newspaper, The Whidbey Examiner, as well as several monthly niche publications geared toward veterans and seniors and a variety of special sections.
Over the course of her nearly 11 years as a professional journalist, she’s won dozens of awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, including awards for investigative journalism, general reporting, page design and editorial writing.
While on Whidbey, The Whidbey Examiner won first place in general excellence in 2013 and 2014, as well as a second place award in 2016. The Whidbey News-Times also won a third place general excellence award in 2014.
Most recently, the annual tourism guide Hansen serves as editor for, The Islander, took home first place for best tourism/community guide special section in 2017.
Even though Hansen left the Nisqually Valley, she developed life-long friendships in Yelm and continues to visit on a regular basis. She starts her new job on Thursday, April 26.
“I’ve always had fond memories of my time in Yelm and have continued to feel connected to my first newspaper and the people who work there,” Hansen said. “I’m excited to return in this new position and bring with me the skills and knowledge I’ve gained working in a different community.
“I look forward to reconnecting with the community and once again becoming an official member of the NVN.”