Rachel Alexander is now Salem Reporter's managing editor. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Rachel Alexander, an award-winning education reporter, has been appointed managing editor of Salem Reporter.

As managing editor, Alexander will oversee day-to-day news coverage produced by the Salem Reporter’s team of journalists.

“This appointment reflects my confidence in Rachel’s journalistic abilities and provides for strong leadership ahead,” said Editor Les Zaitz.

She will lead a team including reporters Saphara Harrell and Jake Thomas, freelance writers Cathy Ingalls, Jean Dion and Mary Louise VanNatta, and photographers Ron Cooper and Amanda Loman.

Alexander will continue her coverage of education and nonprofits.

“I plan to continue our track record of producing engaging, informative stories that examine major issues facing Salem with context and depth and hold those in power accountable for their decisions,” Alexander said.  “We'll keep a close eye on the vaccination rollout and the ongoing economic, health, educational and social impacts of the pandemic.”

Alexander was one of the original reporters for Salem Reporter when it started up. Zaitz, a lifelong Oregon journalist, and Salem businessman and philanthropist Larry Tokarski founded the all-digital news service to focus exclusively on local news.

That move recognized that more consumers now turn to digital resources to get their news.

“We’re proud of the reputation Salem Reporter has built for fair and trusted news, reflecting the values of the community and providing much-needed watchdog reporting,” Zaitz said. “We expect a dynamic year ahead to serve Salem and readers should watch for other exciting changes coming soon.”

Alexander is a 2013 graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. She worked at the daily Union-Bulletin in Walla Walla from 2013 to 2014 and then at the daily Spokesman-Review in Spokane from 2014 until joining Salem Reporter four years later.

In Oregon, she has been a board member and president of the Oregon chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, advocating particularly for improving access to government records.

“I hope to see our small but scrappy newsroom grow so we can keep serving our readers, and I welcome ideas for how we can best do that in the coming months,” Alexander said.

She can be reached by email at [email protected]

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